How to Grow Leafy Greens

Planting leafy greens vegetables such as kale,lettuce,spinach,etc is very easy, but it depends on when you choose to plant them. When planting greens, the climate is also important and it matters if the leaf vegetables are heat or cold tolerant.

Varieties

There is a large variety of green salads and different lettuces you can choose. It depends on what you actually want to have in your garden. Growing salad greens can be tricky, because they are cool-weather crops. When soil temperature is below 50° or above 80°, germination can be spotty. But once the plants are up, optimum air temperature is 60 degrees F. Plan to buy at least 8 or 10 different sort of seeds and start the year with the ones that thrive in cool soil and low light conditions,such as Winter Marvel,Winter Density, Black Seeded Simpson or Arctic King. When the warm weather comes, you should go for heat-tolerant lettuce varieties,such as Craquerelle du Midi,Rosalita, Torenia or Larissa.

Planting

Start heat-loving greens in late Spring, so they mature during Summers’s heat. In cold areas, for winter greens, start cold-loving plants in fall,so they can get mature enough before the bitter cold weather of December. There are two ways of planting leafy greens:

1.Starting from seed

They are generally started from seed and you can easily find them in retail stores, catalogs or internet seed companies. It is easy and economical to start from seed and there is a large variety to suit any gardener or cook.

2.Starting from Transplants

You can find mustard, lettuce and other greens in containers or six packs for transplanting in garden centers. Carefully prepare the garden soil to ensure a successful crop.

Growing in Containers

If you decide you want to grow greens in containers or pots ,then you have to buy a well-drained container that is at least 4 to 6 inches deep and fill it with a soilless media which you can find at retail stores. The next step is to check the soil daily and add some water if it is necessary. When the temperature begins to warm up, containers may need to be watered a couple of times a day. On the other hand, if you want to grow micro-greens, seeds can be planted in shallow flats and harvested about 10 to 21 days after planting. They can be grown during Winter, indoors, but only if they have enough light.

Keeping Soil Fertile

Do not forget after every crop you remove, to add to the soil 2 or 3 inch layer of compost and work it in well.

Protection of the Plants

You should use shades cloth during the summer heat, to protect them from the hot sun. Because greens usually grow quickly and often in cooler weather when insect pests are not present, they are relatively free of pests and diseases. However,you should check plants regularly, just to avoid a minor problem that could turn into a major one. For avoiding most common diseases, you have to grow greens in a fertile soil,well -drained with a good spacing between plants.