Save A Little Green And Grow Your Own Leafy Greens
Salads seem to come these days in either a plastic bag of container. While we cannot argue that this is convenient, you are paying for this convenience in dollars and loss nutrients, not to mention whatever chemicals were used in growing the greens.
Growing a spring salad garden is easy, healthy, and will save you a ton of money. A good seed bed, or even a large flower pot is really all one needs to get things started. Leafy greens are easy to direct sow from seeds, or can be grown using starter plants from a local garden center.
Here are some our favorite leafy greens to try in your garden (and hopefully on your plate):
So we started with the obvious. Be that as it may, lettuce is one of the easiest and trouble free greens to grow. There are many favorite varieties available including Iceberg, Romaine, Buttercrunch and Red Sails.
Kale is not called a super food for nothing. It is rich in iron and antioxidants. Super good for you and super easy to grow.
A delicious member of the cabbage family, pak choi) is a cool-season crop that can be devoured from tip to base. The dark green leaves are packed with flavor and succulent texture, while the crisp white stems add bite to stir-fries and steamed dishes.
Tatsoi is also known as “spinach mustard”. It is a broad-leafed green vegetable, varying in color from pale green to very dark green. When eaten, tatsoi has a somewhat creamy texture and noticeably distinct flavor. Because of the spoon-shape of its leaves, tatsoi is also known as “spoon mustard”.
We’ll spare you from our best Popeye imitation. One of the most nutrient-rich, low-calorie vegetables you can grow, spinach is also one of the tastiest, lending its mild flavor to both cooked dishes and salads and sandwiches, in which its young, fresh leaves are perfect. Spinach can be grown as a spring and a fall crop.
Arugula can be rather price at the store so why not save some bucks and grow your own. Low in calories (a 1/2 cup serving is 2 calories!) and high in vitamins A and C, Arugula adds a little zest to any salad.
A delicious and attractive vegetable! With white, yellow, or red leafstalks, Swiss chard brings vivid color to the garden and tangy flavors to the table. Some say if you like spinach (they’re in the same family, along with beets!), you’ll adore chard, for its taste is mild yet earthy and sweet, with faint undercurrents of bitterness.
Pests Of Leaf Greens
There are several pests of leaf greens that gardeners need to be aware of.
The biggest of these is rabbits (does the story or Peter Rabbit ring a bell?). One rabbit can consume a whole crop of greens in one night. The best, and most humane, way to deal with this is by using a live trap and release the guilty party in a suitable environment far from your garden.
Slugs, aphids and whiteflies are among the most bothersome insect pests . Since using pesticides on food you are going to eat is really never a good idea, here are some simple and safe solutions.
Slugs – Spread diatomaceous earth or crushed egg shells around plants, or put out a pan of beer near the plants.
Aphids – A strong spray of water from a hose will knock many of the aphids off the plant, and they won’t be able to return. It also rinses off some of the honeydew. Spray the plant every day until the plant is aphid free.
Whiteflies – Introduce Ladybugs into the garden.
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