The leaves of plants known as “greens” are some of the healthiest and earliest foods to come from a garden.
One cup of cooked greens is packed with iron, calcium, B-6 and B-12 vitamins, vitamins C and A – plus plenty of cancer-preventing phytochemicals.
Flavors range from pungent to mild, and seedlings can be eaten raw as micro-greens.
Easy to grow, greens almost raise themselves.
Plant & Harvest:
- Plant as soon as the soil can be worked. Grab a handful and squeeze — it should crumble, not form a ball.
- Spread a 2” layer of compost over the greens bed and work it into the soil.
- Plant seeds in rows that are 12” apart.
- If temperatures plunge after you plant, protect beds by insulating them with row cover or newspapers weighted down at the edges with rocks.
- Remove covers when sprouts appear.
Be generous in planting seeds. You can thin later and use the sweet, tender sprouts in salads, on sandwiches and to top omelets and other cooked dishes.
The best way to remove excess plants without damaging the other seedlings is to snip them off with sharp scissors. Remaining greens should stand 6” apart in rows.
Warm days of late spring and early summer will turn greens bitter and tough. As the days lengthen and become warmer, plants quit producing leaves and send up seed stalks. This means it’s time to remove them from the garden, and plant a heat-lover like watermelon in place of your greens.