Try Eating the Leaves of Plants to Improve Your Health.
Leafy vegetables are packed with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. They can be used raw in salads or green smoothies as well as wilted in a hot pan of oil. Different mixtures of greens deliver different flavors and textures so try several until you find one that you like. The baby leaves of bok choy are mild while some of the mixes containing mustard can be spicy.
Mixture of different loose leaf lettuces
Baby Leaf Greens Are Easy to Grow
Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens and many Asian Greens like Bok Choy can be harvested in the baby leaf stage when they are about 5 to 6 inches tall. These types of greens grow best in the Spring and again in the Fall. They don’t grow very much in the middle of winter but will survive some cold especially if covered on very cold nights. I have harvested Spinach and Kale through the winter with a little protection.
Most of these greens only take about 4 weeks from seed to harvest at the baby leaf stage. You can sow them in rows 2 or 3 seeds per inch and 2 to 3 inches between the rows. I like to cover my seed with vermiculite because it holds moisture around the seed while they germinate. You can also cover with a lightweight cloth or newspaper to help hold the moisture. Plant in moist soil and be sure to check the soil every day while they are germinating so that they will not dry out. After you see the first sign of green starting to show remove the cloth or newspaper or your seedling will stretch from not having enough light. Germination takes about a week or less and your greens will be ready to harvest when they are about 5 to 6 inches tall. Total time from seed to harvest is around four weeks. Greens don’t need a lot of fertilizer but will definitely benefit from compost or an organic fertilizer added just before you sow the seed. After germination you can water every two to three days depending on the weather. You want the soil to be moist but not soggy wet. Harvest your baby greens with scissors leaving about an inch of the plant to regrow. Depending on what you are growing and the weather you will be able to harvest 3 or more times from one sowing.
Click Here for a link to High Mowing seed where you can buy baby leaf green mixtures.
Click Here for a link to Johnny’s seed where you can buy baby leaf green mixtures.
Mixture of different Kales
Video of sowing lettuce in a square foot garden.
In this video I am sowing lettuce at only one seed per inch but using the same method you can sow your baby greens thicker.
Figs are in Season. Don’t miss the nutritional benefits that they can add to your diet!
According to Dr. Mercola – “Figs are high in fiber and a good source of several essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium (which promotes bone density), copper, and potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), as well as vitamins, principally K and B6.
Besides keeping much longer, the nutritional value of figs increase when they’re dried. A half-cup of fresh figs, for instance, provides as much calcium as one-half cup of milk, but a single dried fig contains almost as much calcium as an egg. Whether fresh or dried, figs contain powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in your body and fight disease.
Fig supplies healthy amounts of dietary fiber, which keeps your system regulated and may have a positive effect on weight management. According to one study, the fruits with the most fiber content include apples, dates, figs, pears, and prunes, and there was a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk among women who consumed the most fruit fiber, compared to those who ate the least.”
A fall garden actually has to be planted in the summer. Depending on where you live you want to plant your fall garden 8 to 10 weeks before the first frost of the fall. In my Georgia garden that means planting about mid to late August because we usually start getting frost early to mid November, planting plants in the garden in some cases and planting seeds in the ground with some varieties. Broccoli for instance is a crop that takes 60 to 80 days to mature from plants set out in the garden so if I plant Broccoli on the 15th of August we would expect to harvest by mid October for a 60 day variety.
You can find the the number of days to maturity in your seed catalog and it should tell you if the days to maturity are from plant set out in the garden or from seed sown directly in the garden. I use Johnny’s seed co. and their catalog has most of the information you need on days to maturity. To find the average first frost dates, soil temperatures and other helpful weather information I use the University Of Georgia Weather network In other states I am sure there is something similar through your agricultural university.
This is a list of the vegetables I plant in mid to late August from transplants into the garden.
If you are starting this list from seeds in pots to be set out in the garden you will need to start your seed in mid July or buy your plants ready to set out in mid to late August.
Kale (Or it can be sown direct from seed in the garden ) Pick individual leaves and Kale will last into the winter)
Collard (Or it can be sown direct from seed in the garden) Pick individual leaves and collards will last into the winter
Swiss Chard ( Chard is less cold hardy than others on this list and will not last into the winter )
Lettuce ( Or it can be sown directly from seed in the garden)
This is a list of vegetables I sow seeds directly into the garden in mid to late August.
Turnips for greens
Spinach ( I wait until the soil temperature is around 70 degrees in September to sow spinach seed) Spinach is very hardy and will survive with temperatures of 2o degrees