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Grow great salads year round

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Grow great salads year round

Post by Sonshine on Fri Sep 25, 2009 10:31 pm

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2006-08-01/Grow-Great-Salads-Year-round.aspx

Issue #217 August/September 2006
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By Patryk Battle
Fresh greens of all kinds are a year-round staple in my family’s kitchen. We have learned to transform the traditional “lean time” of the coldest months into a time of abundance by growing hardy and semihardy greens adapted to each season and using season-extending techniques in winter and early spring. Try these techniques and you’ll be thrilled the first time you pick a fresh, crisp salad right from your back yard — in the middle of January.

Our most reliable sources of cold-hardy greens are plants that have had at least one season to develop extensive root systems. Regardless of your location, these “naturals” — cooking greens and salad plants that naturally overwinter — will always be your most reliable sources of cold-weather greens. The naturals usually can survive winter on their own with no protection in our Zone 6 region in the mountains of North Carolina, and they are the most vigorous early producers. In colder zones, you can use the protection techniques described below and enjoy cooked greens and fresh salads prepared from a variety of tasty and nutritious greens all winter long.

You may already be familiar with many of the stalwarts of winter gardens:

•kale (‘Winterbor’ hybrid is among the hardiest)
•collards
•spinach (‘Space’ and ‘Hector’ thrive even in cold climates)
•winter-hardy lettuces (‘Tango’ and ‘Brune d’Hiver’ are excellent choices for winter gardens)
•salad brassicas, such as tatsoi and rape
In addition, there are two other categories of cold-loving naturals:

Self-seeding annuals that will return from year to year:

•arugula
•giant red mustard
•mâche or corn salad (‘Piedmont’ and other large-leaf varieties produce the most greens per plant)
•claytonia, aka miners lettuce (needs a little protection)
Perennial greens:

•radicchios (‘Red Treviso’ lends itself to cut-and-come-again harvesting)
•many other chicories (the traditional Italian cooking green, ‘Red Rib Dandelion,’ is superproductive)
•French sorrel
•the spinach relative ‘Good King Henry’ (aka poor man’s asparagus)
Fall Planting
From mid-August to mid-September, sow successions of the naturals every couple of weeks. The naturals are hardy enough to overwinter anywhere in the continental United States with protection. When the greens are young in the fall, simple fabric row covers that rest on the leaves will do the trick. When the plants get a little bigger and temperatures drop, you may need to add a second layer of protection with tunnels made of clear plastic suspended by hoops or wire arches and closed on both ends. If temperatures regularly drop to near zero in your area, keep some heavyweight row covers or tarps on hand to throw over the whole setup


Click on link for the rest of the article.

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Sonshine
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Re: Grow great salads year round

Post by Marie on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:44 pm

this is what I want to do, indoors...
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Re: Grow great salads year round

Post by Sonshine on Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:32 pm

I haven't had much success with growing things indoors. I did get my tomatoes to the blooming stage last year, but ended up putting them in the garden when it got warm enough and got tons of tomatoes off of them.

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Sonshine
He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]
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Posts : 5253
Join date : 2009-05-07
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Re: Grow great salads year round

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