Friday, May 28, 2010

First Harvest: Organic Home Grown Salad Greens

Yesterday I harvested the first food from my garden.  Fresh salad for lunch and dinner.  In the bowl I have a mix of Spinach and Arugula, both grown from seeds I purchased at Botanical Interests.  And Rocky Top Lettuce Mix, one of my favorite mesclun mixes from Baker Creek Seeds.

Some gardeners are intimidated to grow salad greens but take it from me, they're about the easiest, most rewarding things you can grow in your garden.  Get yourself a pack of mesclun seed mix, scatter them lightly over the dirt, then sprinkle a little dirt over the top of the seeds, barely covering them.  And water.  You can plant a little every three weeks and your family will be stocked with fresh organic salad all summer.

Organic salad greens are expensive.  Plus, I hate the pressure of buying a big container of them then stressing about eating them before they go bad.  Remember, by the time grocery store salad greens make it to your kitchen, they may have traveled over 1,500 miles.  They won't last long!  But grown in your personal garden, you can pick enough for each meal and leave the rest growing outside where they belong.

The hardest thing about growing salad greens is their tendency to bolt in the hot summer.  Are you growing a super heat tolerant salad green?  Leave a comment telling me which one it is so I can try it, myself.

5 comments:

  1. I harvested some of mine last week, and I haven't been able to keep up -- this heat is making a lot of it bolt already.

    One of the most heat resistant lettuces I grow is Black Seeded Simpson -- that usually takes quite a while to bolt. Red Sails is pretty heat tolerant, too. And I grow a lot of Swiss chard, which seems to take forever to bolt. If you harvest the leaves when they're small, you can eat them raw in salads.

    BTW -- I hate the pressure that comes with buying those packages of expensive greens, too. Much happier when I can harvest my own :)

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  2. I love lettuce mixes! It's one of the easiest things to grow and you don't have to wait for it to be full grown before you chow down!

    If you can find some area with a little midday shade, that helps with bolting in the heat of summer. Plus, keep picking the flowers off. It's like a chain reaction. Once one plant goes to seed all of them do!

    Let me know if you find a heat tolerant green to grow.
    Thanks!

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  3. Sounds like a great lunch salad! Thanks for the tips on how to sow those greens!

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  4. Question, how do you organically keep the bugs away from your salad greens? Yours look so nice! Mine look more like swiss cheese :(

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  5. We are going to try Burpee's "heatwave" mix this summer in Boise where it commonly reaches 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll be posting on our progress at http://gardenbugidaho.blogspot.com/
    Right now we are harvesting "Gourmet Blend" from Burpee as well and it is really tasty.

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