Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Growing GREENS from Seed to Harvest

Since I wrote Food Prices are on the Rise I figured I'd share info on growing GREENS!  In case you missed my article, Lettuce is set to rise by 34% in the coming months.
Swiss Chard  and Beets growing in a large container

Growing GREENS from Seed to Harvest

Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep in moist soil.  It is best to sow lettuce or spinach seeds thinly in rows spaced about 1 ft. apart or simply scatter the seeds in blocks. Cover lightly with soil, firm in place and water well. Keep the soil moist until germination. Once the plants have a grown their true leaves, you can begin to thin the plants to about 6" apart.
Pak Choy Cabbage
Start lettuce or spinach indoors or direct seeded in the garden as soon as the soil is workable.  Great for container gardens. 

Depending on the type of lettuce, harvest outer leaves only or cut down the whole head.
Spinach can be harvested in the cut and come again method of harvesting lettuce. Cut individual leaves, starting with the older, outer leaves, and letting the young inner leaves remain and continue growing for a later harvest. You can also cut down the whole plant, for a larger harvest.  

Tip: Soak seeds overnight in water before planting to ensure strong germination.

Vulcan Swiss Chard
Plant seeds 1/4 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Set out seedlings 8 inches apart. Indoors or out, thin newly germinated seedlings with cuticle scissors instead of pulling them out. Chard seed capsules often contain two or more seeds. If more than one germinates snip off all but the strongest sprout at the soil line. Gradually thin direct-sown seedlings to 8-12 inches apart.

Harvest individual leaves from the outer area but be sure to leave the crown intact.

Frequent picking helps to stimulate the production of new leaves. Rinse leaves with cool water immediately, shake off the excess moisture, and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to four days. 

Companion Plants for GREENS

Chards: Bean, cabbage family, tomato, onion and roses. Don't overlook chard's value as an ornamental plant in flower beds or wherever you have room for it. Don't grow chard near cucurbits, melons, corn or herbs.
Lettuce: Does well with beets, broccoli, bush beans, pole beans, carrots, cucumbers, onion, radish and strawberries. It grows happily in the shade under young sunflowers. Dill and lettuce are a perfect pair. Keep lettuce away from cabbage. Cabbage is a deterrent to the growth and flavor of lettuce.
Spinach: Plant with peas and beans as they provide natural shade for the spinach. Gets along with cabbage, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, onion, peas, strawberries and fava bean. Plant spinach with squash. It's a good use of space because by the time squash plants start to get big the spinach is ready to bolt. 

Recipe for your GREENS Harvest

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Janet Pesaturo said...

Great post. Spring greens are becoming one of my favorites from the garden. It used to be tomatoes, but now I think I appreciate the salad greens even more. I love a mix of sweet lettuces, and peppery pungent mustards and arugala.

Unknown said...

Good info on growing your own greens. I have planted my own spring mix lettuce, romaine and kale this year. I had some of the romaine the other day and it was really good. Also enjoying the cilantro and basil and chives I planted.

Lyda LaRae said...

I didn't realize that soaking chard seeds would help them germinate. I'll have to try that since I'm planning to plant some soon. Thanks for the tips!

Maria said...

I love greens and it's the healthiest food to eat in my book!
Thanks for stopping by my party
Fabulous Friday

Deborah Davis said...

Hi Mary,
What a delight it is to grow your own greens and eat them! With the rising produce prices, growing your own makes so much sense. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful guide to growing greens at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop! I sincerely appreciate it!

Healthytips said...

Thanks for sharing such beautiful information with us. I hope you will share some more information about spinach. Please keep sharing.
Health Is A Life