Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Planting Lettuce and Greens

Before I planted my own vegetable garden, I was NOT a big fan of salads. "Bland" and "boring" were two adjectives I often associated with it. I just didn't understand how people could be happy eating a big bowl of something so -- well, uninteresting!

After that, however, everything changed for the better! Once I realized the variety of tastes and textures that could come together in one bowl to create something so different from my prior conception of a salad, I was hooked! Side salads with my meals, main course salads -- my creativity had no limits.

Since that time, I have expanded my culinary horizons as far as leafy vegetables are concerned. I regularly add them to soups. Fresh arugula tossed onto a home-made white pizza (sauceless) as it comes out of the oven transforms it! The idea of grilling young head lettuces, sliced in half and brushed with olive oil, intrigues me. Sauteed chard is one of my favorite side dishes -- even better when I add in a little feta cheese.

Today, I plan on sowing my lettuce and greens seeds. Before I do that, let me give you a head's up:

My taste in greens leans to the tangy or peppery side. Mizuna (a type of mustard green) is my hands-down favorite, followed closely by arugula. They will always have a place in my plot!

I also regularly plant the Burpee mesclun mixes: "Sweet Salad Mix" and the "Spicy Mix". In addition to romaine lettuce seedlings I will purchase from my local nursery, I will sow seeds (from The Cook's Garden) for: "Silvia", with its beautiful red leaf, and "Craquerelle du Midi", an heirloom variety that should do well in my warm climate. One of my favorites is a dark red romaine from Seeds of Change called "Outredgeous", which has gorgeous, shiny leaves.

"Lucullus" Swiss chard seeds will be planted today, but at some point soon, I will plant seedlings of "Bright Lights", whose vibrant stems add lovely color to dishes.

Here is one more shout out to dandelion green "Ameliore", mentioned in an earlier post as a favorite of my goose girls. It will be planted first!

Better go...dirt beckons!


  1. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than going out to my veggie garden and plucking the ingredients of my salad straight from it. It fascinated my 5 year old last year to see me go out there and come back into the house with the makings of my dinner. I haven't yet successfully gotten my boys to eat veggies but maybe they will eat the mini lettuces I am growing this year (Thumb Tom and Tin Tin).

  2. I seeded some lettuces and bought seedlings, too. Variety of your greens is very impressive!
    Your post makes me want to buy and plant more!

  3. It fascinated my 5 year old last year to see me go out there and come back into the house with the makings of my dinner.