Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Greens for the Garden

The plans for the next year's garden have been going along just fine. I've figured out what plants I'm not going to grow any more. I've taken stock of all the seeds I still have. The three sisters garden has all been planned out. My next problem was figuring out what new greens I wanted. I love salads and cooked greens. Last year I grew a handful of new Asian greens. I want to grow many of them again. I also missed growing regular cabbage so that is on the list. I'm getting Gonzolas since it is a mini cabbage and doesn't need as much space. I'm the only one in my family eating it so small is good.

Pinetree has so many greens. My list of new greens to try started with: Miner's Lettuce, Mache, Holland Greens Tyfon, Malabar spinach, New Zealand Spinach, Strawberry Spinach, Mustard Spinach. I don't have space for all of those. I still want to grow most of the Asian greens from last year. In addition I want two rows of chard instead of one. One really isn't enough. I love chard. Oh and lots of lettuce. I've decided to try two new lettuces - New Red Fire and Merveille de Quatre Seasons. I love red lettuce. I actually had four new lettuces on the list, but really I don't need that much. I must have control and only buy what I can actually plant. Last year I bought kale and never had room to plant it. Maybe it will make the garden this year. It is so hard to pare down the list. The garden is only so big. And the reality of it is that I can only eat so much. My eyes are bigger than my stomach.

I finally did pare it down. Just three new greens. Mustard Spinach was the first on my list. I picked it because it was described as "the most bolt resistant Asian brassica". Plus it is good cooked and raw. How can I resist. All summer long and it is versatile.

The second was Tyfon Holland Greens. You have to love the description. "If you'd like to feed an army from an area the size of a coffee table, this may be the vegetable for you." So I'm guessing it is prolific. I'm good with that. Also it does not have any mustard oil in it so it will stay mild in the summer.

The last was Strawberry Spinach. I picked it because it is a heat lover that is good in salads and when it does bolt, it produces little strawberry like fruit. So it stays productive.

So now I have three new greens to try, that will all do well in my summer heat. Last summer was very sad when all the lettuce stopped producing and the Asian greens went a little mustardy. I'm crossing my fingers for salads all the way through the summer. New Red Fire Lettuce is supposed to be slow bolting too.

Thinking about what to grow is so much fun. So many plants are dancing in my head. The hardest part is to pick the few to try this year. However I know if they don't work out that next year I can always try more. That is the fun of winter gardening. Dreaming of gardens to come.

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