Sunday, May 2, 2010

Salad Days

Spring is a wonderful time on many levels. New hope after a long gray winter. New flowers to warm the heart. New green leaves that seem to appear on the trees overnight. And these cool days really are the salad days of gardening because the bugs and beasties have yet to really wake up and start munching. And it's in this cool weather that salad greens are at their best: baby spinach, heirloom lettuces, mache, arugula grow nearly care-free. If you're a salad-lover like I am don't miss your spring opportunity to grow some of these for yourself. I sowed these seeds in this bed about a month ago, but you should still have time to grow a few salads before the summer heat really moves in. Then you just cut as much as you want for your salad--these plants just keep growing! And you won't believe how much better your own home-grown salad is compared to what you get in those expensive bags in the supermarket. Just make sure your soil is nicely prepared, then just follow the instructions on your seed packets. For my lettuce patch I sowed Wildfire Lettuce Mix which is as pretty as it is tasty. If you like a bit of peppery bite in your salad add in some arugula.

In the cool spring weather the baby arugula leaves are really quite mild. I also tried out two types of spinach this spring, Emu and Red Cardinal. Both have provided me with lots of baby spinach leaves to mix into my salad bowl. Be creative--there are endless varieties of leaves you can grow for your own salad bowl!

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