Buttercrunch lettuce, romaine, radicchio, mustard greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard… This is a beautiful time for grazing on glorious home-grown greens!
Here in western Oregon, it’s often rainy and cool through June. (The old adage around these parts is that summer does not truly begin until July 5th and that’s usually spot on!) Fortunately for leafy greens lovers, that means we have a lot of cool, wet weather perfect for growing our delectable treats.
I start my greens from seed in the greenhouse beginning in late February. (Since my greenhouse is unheated, any earlier than that and we’d have too much risk of a hard freeze!) By late March or early April I put them outside.
I really don’t give them a lot of food. I credit most of my happy sprouting experiences with nice, fluffy compost and peat-rich planting mix. Once the sprouts appear, I usually just give them a general fertilizer formulated for vegetables one weekend and a shot of kelp extract the next. Then maybe the same thing once I get them in the ground!
Occasionally I’ll plant into baskets or pots, but I find that potted greens bolt (produce flowers) sooner and don’t produce as much as when planted in the ground. Especially arugula–it tends to really hate being potted up. It much prefers the ground.
By early May it’s time for thinning and enjoying the most tender melt-in-your-mouth fresh greens that you’ll ever taste!