Updated on February 16, 2012
2012 Greens - Various Types
2012 Assorted Greens
Greens culture: This is a broad category that includes various items with different culture requirements. Check each variety name for when and how it should be planted. This group of vegetables is often overlooked by many. However, most of the members in this classification have very high levels of nutrients and anti-oxidants and can do wonders for improving one's diet. When doing work for a graduate class, I discovered an interesting nutritional fact about Malabar Spinach. One-fourth cup of Malabar Spinach leaves has more Vitamin A than 12 pounds of the genetically modified "Golden Rice" that is being promoted as a savior of eyesight for people in "Third World Countries".
Plant as early as soil can be worked and a succession planting in late July. Plant a few seeds per inch about 1/2 inch deep. Thin as needed.
Catalogna Long Green: 75 days. Rapid growing dandelion-like leaves. Overwintered in garden produces tastier leaves early the following Spring. Pkt. $1.25
Mixed Radicchio: 80 days. A mix of 3 types that will provide a nice colorful mix of salad greens. Best quality is obtained from forcing the roots. I dig the roots in the Fall, place in tubs of dirt, put in my basement and let them form loose heads of tasty greens in the mid-winter. May also be picked directly from the garden in late Fall, but this will result in a stronger flavor. Direct seed in the garden either early or mid-Summer. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Palia Rossa: 95 days. Heads have dark green leaves outside and red inside. Not necessary to force. Best planted mid-summer. Pkt. $1.25
Red Trevisco: 100 days. Long slender green leaves that turn red in the cool Fall weather. Bitter and non-heading unless trimmed and forced. Pkt. $1.25
Cool Weather Greens
Ideal for cold frames and season extends.
Arugula: 40 days. Fast growing, cool season salad green. Distinct, spicy flavor, best used when young and when grown in cool weather. Heat and longevity tend to make it taste bitter. Can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked up until mid-August. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Broadleaf Mache: 55 days. Commonly called cornsalad. Grows well in cool weather. Long, glossy green leaves, forms bunches, distinct, nutty flavor. Used as a mixed salad green. Plant early or again in mid-August. Does not like the heat. Pkt. $1.25
French Sorrel: 50 to 70 days. Tangy, lemon-flavored leaves that are a good food for the chickens and rabbits (as well as for humans). Add sparingly as a garnish to salads or to soups due to its strong flavor. Plant early in the spring and pick the leaves as needed. This winters over here for an early Spring treat. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Hon Tsai Tai: 40 days. A quick maturing Chinese green that has purplish stems. It flowers quickly, but the flowers are very tasty. Direct seed as early as possible. Pkt. $2.00
Minutina (Plantago corynopsus): 50 days. Cold hardy salad plant, that does best in cooler weather. Plants are small with slender, crinkled green leaves. Direct seed early in the garden. Also does well in a Fall garden. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Mizuna: 55 days. Very fine, cut-leaf foliage; tender, juicy Japanese green. Plants are very vigorous, ornamental and tasty. Can be eaten both raw or lightly steamed. May be direct seeded in early Spring, but I plant it August 1 for a nice Fall crop. Pkt. $1.00 OG
Rapini: 60 days. Broccoli Raab type Asian cabbage. Best if you live in a mild climate where it can be overwintered and harvested early in the spring. If not possible, plant early in the spring and harvest the small, dime-sized side shoots. The first buds are the best followed by the secondary shoots. They can be steamed in water or sautéed in a combination of water and olive oil and then dressed in olive oil, lemon and salt. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Red Orach: 30 days. Beautiful plant, deep purple-red, naturalizes. Needs to be direct seeded in the garden very early or seed will lay dormant until the next season. Best eaten steamed and eaten like spinach. Old vegetable dating back to Roman times. Pkt. $2.00
Vegetable Mallow: 50 days. A tender mallow used as a cooked green leaf vegetable (like spinach). A favorite of Thomas Jefferson. Very nutritious. Early and easy. Looks like an upright weed. Direct seed in the garden from early Spring through mid-Summer. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Warm Weather Greens
Good for harvest during the summer heat.
Melo Khiya (Corcorus olitorius): 80 days. A popular Arabic Summer vegetable green. Quick grower in hot weather. Plants grow up to 3 feet tall. Young leaves are tender and cooked like spinach. Flavor is best when cooked and not eaten raw. Once plants get more mature the fiber can be turned into jute and used as a fiber plant. Pkt. $1.75
Shungiku Largeleaf: 80 days. (a.k.a. Edible Chrysanthemum) Flowering plant that makes a nice decoration. Also, the leaves have a particular tanginess when sautéed and used in soup and salad. Direct seed in the garden about the time of your last frost. Pkt. $1.25 OG
Very frost sensitive. Plant seed when it is hot or transplant then. Gorgeous and tasty plant. Plant seed about 1 inch deep every 6 inches.
Green Malabar: 70 days. Beautiful, deep green with a shiny gloss to the leaves. High in vitamins. Vining, tropical like plant that tolerates no frost. May be used as a spinach substitute in salads. Cooked leaves and stems are somewhat slimy (like spinach), but very nutritious. Plant after the last frost. Does not tolerate cold conditions at all. Pkt. $2.00 OG
Red Malabar: 70 days. Wonderfully colorful plant used as a warm weather spinach substitute when spinach tends to bolt. Climbing plants are wine red with thick green leaves. Pkt. $2.50 OG
2012 Greens Mixes
These are an especially tasty addition to salads. Another great way to extend the fresh season is to take a cheap discount store plastic dishpan filled with soil. Then sprinkle seed on top of the soil thickly and grow in a sunny window for fresh salad fixins in the off-season. The greens are especially tender and mild this way.
Fall Greens Mix: A special mix of greens including lettuce, chards, greens, Chinese cabbage, spinach, and endive that is designed to be planted in the late Summer (early to late August here in Iowa) to be harvested from mid-September until the ground freezes. Packet will plant a 25 foot row. Pkt. $2.00
Spring Greens Mix: A special mix of greens including lettuces, spinach, chard, arugula, mustard, and wrinkled cress that is designed to be planted early in the Spring. It will provide a colorful and tasty salad mix. Harvest when the plants are young and tiny for fresh green salads. Direct seed in the garden early in the Spring. Packet will plant a 25 foot row. Pkt. $2.00
Wrinkled Crinkled Cress: 30 days. Early, vigorous plants producing a spicy flavored addition to salads. Pkt. $1.00 OG
2012 Amaranth - Leaf Types
Amaranth culture: See also Grain Amaranth in Grains. Plant early in the season. Thin to 1 plant every 6 to 8 inches for best results. Packet plants 50 to 100 foot of row.
Sahel: 45 days. (a.k.a. African Spinach) Frequent picking is necessary to keep the highest quality leaves. Heavy producer. Pkt. $1.50 OG
Tiger Eye: 50 days. Short, coleus-like leaves. Plants stay 2 to 3 feet tall when picked. Excellent for hot weather climate. Pkt. $2.00 (Limit 1 Pkt.) OG