|~ greenhouse jungle ~|
This year, it is a chilly spring day along the coast. The sun is shining, but the breeze is keeping things pretty cool & damp.
This is perfect weather for growing salad greens & today is a perfect day to gather a large harvest & allow the plants to continue to produce for a few more weeks.
I have a jungle in my greenhouse. Things have finally started to take off & will become a little too big in very short order. The blend I seeded in here last fall (late October) is a mustard blend - they do very well in cool damp weather (which is what my greenhouse is like in the winter due to all the holes in the plastic). I wasn't expecting to harvest the greens over the winter - I just wanted a head-start for fresh salads in the spring. It worked very well!
|~ red oak leaf ~|
|~ romaine & green oak leaf ~|
In this blend is also some romaine lettuce which will provide the crunch that people so desire. When harvesting any of these, you can either select a few of the outer leaves or cut the whole head back. While they are still young, I like to select the outer leaves & let the plant continue to grow. As they get older, they will start to become a bit bitter, so then I will cut back the whole head & may be rewarded by regrowth a few weeks later. Or just till under the roots & plant something else.
|~ mustard blend ~|
|~ arugula ~|
Another plant I highly recommend for out here is wild arugula. It does so well & will come back for a few years. The leaves are a little bit more tough than your salad greens, but the flavour is amazing. Nutty & peppery. You won't need much in your salads but expand your repertoire & try mustard or arugula greens on your hamburgers. I like to turn abundant harvests of arugula into pesto that I keep in small jars in the freezer. That way I can use it through out the year (in the winter!) instead of using mayo or other condiments.
Now is the time of year to be eating & enjoying those fresh greens from the gardens - or even from your lawns - get out there & harvest some dandelion leaves for a tangy addition to the salads. Take revenge on those weeds - dandelion flowers also make pretty good fritters too!
Hope the spring sun is shining for you!