March 14, 2014

Cut and Come Again Greens




FINALLY! It is time to get out there...up to your ankles in compost and manure...and plant your greens and lettuces. In my small potager, Cut and Come Again greens...(in this planting, lettuces and kale...see the border of purple onions along the brick border? )



...are the perfect, prolific solution to satisfy my green tooth. In just a few weeks, the Red Romaine and Red Salad Bowl lettuces, along with



Red Chicory Radicchio, Latin Kale, and Little Gem Butterhead Lettuce will be ready for harvest and a dash of a lovely vinaigrette. As you might expect, these greens can be cut down once or more, and then will cooperatively bounce back...and continue to grow and yield additional harvests of deliciousness with very little effort. 



When the heat puts a stop to this generousity...the cool-loving greens will be replaced by heat loving herbs, peppers, and tomatoes. In my four potager quadrants, I amended the soil with a good quality compost and loosened the moist (but not wet) soil to about 6-10 inches.



I planted cell-pack starts I found at Lowe's, alternating red and green varieties to please the eye...





then broadcast seeds of mescalun mix in between the small leafy plants. The seeds will germinate and begin to grow filling the void created as I cut the mature greens I planted from the cell-pack starts. I make sure to water when rain is not forthcoming, but wind is...and use an organic snail bait like SLUGGO to protect the tender things from sow bugs, snails and slugs. After the first harvest, I give them a shot of water soluble organic plant food.


I have used all of these greens at one time or another as part of my spring show in the front yard. Black Seeded Simpson in its gorgeous chartreuse hues is especially valuable in an edible landscape.



I am ready and waiting for the lush, verdant freshness of it all. You can find great seed almost anywhere, but for specific or unusual varieties, I recommend SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE (here)THE COOK'S GARDEN (here), or yes, IRISH EYES GARDEN SEEDS (here) (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)


 
 Get sowing (and may the luck of the Irish be with ye!)

 For a taste of spring and more tips on seed starting, join Linda Cavanaugh and me on 4  YOUR GARDEN today at 4:30 on KFOR.


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