It’s not too late to plants some yummy greens this fall!

As fall is rapidly approaching here in Wisconsin,  I’m devastated by the thought that summer is coming to an end.  But luckily, the gardening season is far from over! We are starting to think about sowing new crops of greens to get us hopefully to November. That means 3 more months of fresh greens that we can enjoy from our salad garden!

Whether you have a raised bed or are brand new to even thinking about growing anything,  I have 3 easy greens you can plant easily!

My top three greens that rarely  fail me are and are quite versatile depending here you live are Romaine, Spinach and Arugula.  All three greens offer a different taste and nutritional properties to keep your salad or meals diverse!

If you live in a drastically different climate from the Midwest, check with your local nursey or do a quick search to determine in which zone you live and what thrives best in your area at this time of year. 

Depending on the variety you will start to have greens ready-to-eat in less than a month.

STEP 1:

Locate a pot, window box, container of your choice or raised bed if you have one available.  Make sure there are drainage holes in your window boxes or container of choice.

STEP 2:

Fill your container of choice with compost. Organic Compost that is free of synthetic fertilizers is important to growing heathy quality greens. You can purchase compost by the bag at your local nursery.  Typically you can easily find composted manure, mushroom compost or sometimes a combination or organic matter.  I have used both varieties depending on availability. Purple Cow is a popular high quality brand I see in Wisconsin.

Starting your food out with the cleanest ingredients ensures you get the highest quality food. That’s the goal right?

STEP 3:

Decide what type of greens you want to try first.  You can start with a packet of seeds or seedlings depending on what you can find at your local nursery.  I prefer to start greens by seed, however, if you are new try experimenting! Both are great options.

Baker Creek is a great option for purchasing seeds if you are a beginner. 

STEP 4:

Plant your seeds or seedlings.  If you are new to planting seeds you can gently press them into the soil.  You are aiming to plant them the depth of 2x the width of the seed. So not very deep! 

Water in your seeds or seedlings.  Salad greens love to be moist but not wet.  You will need to check your salad container daily and be diligent about watering when necessary. Lettuce seeds do not like to be dry, especially before they sprout. 

Step 5:

Place your planter in a location that receives a minimum of four hours of sunlight.

Salad containers are the gift that keeps giving. You can harvest the tiny greens as micro-greens or let them grow to a more full size for the plant.  The seed packet will provide you with some direction on  size and days to maturity.  You can start to harvest the outside leaves first and enjoy a delicious salad or hearty spinach pasta.

Food for Thought!

A mentor of mine recently pointed out another benefit to growing greens.  I think it is an important reminder to share as we’ve become detached from where and how our food ends up on our plates.  

Everything you grow at your home reduces our carbon footprint.  Track how many plastic containers from greens you recycle throughout the year.  Think about the environmental impact of transporting those greens to your grocery store. Every little bit, big or small, impacts our planet. 

I encourage you to try even a small salad container at your home.  Watch and enjoy the miracle of a tiny seed turning into a nourishing meal right before your eyes. 

Nutritional Benefits!

Revel in tasty greens chock-full of vitamins and minerals!

Spinach

  • Fiber
  • Rich in Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Vitamins A, C, K

Romaine

  • Rich in Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Vitamins C, K

Arugula

  • Fiber
  • Rich in Phytonutrients
  • Rich in Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Folate
  • Vitamins A, C, K