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Salad Garden

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Salad Garden

Post  H_TX on 6/3/2011, 5:59 pm

I told my wife about the part in Mel's book where he says you can take your bowl outside and clip the outside leaves off of several different types of lettuce and other greens for a salad and her eyes really lit up. Personally I am simple and prefer simple romaine lettuce but she would love to have several varieties at her disposal. I am starting to think about what I can plant for my fall garden and I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions about what will grow in our climate that makes great in a salad. What types of lettuce? We don't really eat regular cabbage but are there other types of cabbage that are more lettuce like? How about spinach and baby spinach (I don't even know if baby spinach is a different type of regular spinach that is harvested while it is still young). I keep hearing that radishes grow really fast and I assume the tops of those can go into a salad. Any other greens like mustard greens?

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  Furbalsmom on 6/4/2011, 11:28 am

H_TEX

Baby spinach is just spinach leaves picked when they are small and exceptionally tender.

Sorry, but my climate is so very different, I can grow lettuce from March until November, so I can't help with varieties for your area.
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  WardinWake on 6/4/2011, 11:56 am

@H_TX wrote:I told my wife about the part in Mel's book where he says you can take your bowl outside and clip the outside leaves off of several different types of lettuce and other greens for a salad and her eyes really lit up. Personally I am simple and prefer simple romaine lettuce but she would love to have several varieties at her disposal. I am starting to think about what I can plant for my fall garden and I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions about what will grow in our climate that makes great in a salad. What types of lettuce? We don't really eat regular cabbage but are there other types of cabbage that are more lettuce like? How about spinach and baby spinach (I don't even know if baby spinach is a different type of regular spinach that is harvested while it is still young). I keep hearing that radishes grow really fast and I assume the tops of those can go into a salad. Any other greens like mustard greens?

Howdy Tex:

Contact your Extension Agent/Master Gardeners for varieties that will grow in Zone 9a. Mary and I grow 7 different types of lettuce here in Zone 7a (Thomas Jefferson grew 19 types in his garden in Monticello, VA ). In early spring we plant in full sun in a Table Top height SFG that is mounted on wheels. As the spring progresses we roll the bed under the big shade tree and that extends the harvest for 3 or more weeks with some growing all summer. You can also use shade cloth to get similar results. Also check your seed catalogs for late bolting types that are good in your area. You should be able to grow lettuce in your area all winter.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  GreenBlueberry on 6/4/2011, 4:11 pm

I got a packet of mesclun at Home Depot and broadcast it over a square. I got all sort of different leave and I just kept picking over and over while they were little I didn't let any of them get to full size. I think I had a sweet mesclun but they also had spicy.
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  elliephant on 6/5/2011, 1:15 pm

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is a good one to check out for varieties that are slower to bolt. My favorite thing about their catalog is that they focus on what does well in the heat and note that.

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  westie42 on 6/5/2011, 1:21 pm

Small beet top greens work well for my taste as does a little mustard greens yes. For other suggestions look at some micro greens sites to see what all they spin into a salad you would be amazed. Many tout arugula personally it spoils my salad. Additions like fine slices of chives, dill fronds, cilantro and shredded mint leaves please my palate. Try different things just not all at once till you develop your favorites list.

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  sherryeo on 6/5/2011, 1:26 pm

elliephant -
Thanks for the tip on Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. That should help me, too!!! Very Happy
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  hcrofts on 6/5/2011, 3:43 pm

I came upon the following link:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fallgarden/fallgrowing.html

You may find it helpful

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  shannon1 on 6/9/2011, 1:18 am

@WardinWake wrote:
@H_TX wrote:I told my wife about the part in Mel's book where he says you can take your bowl outside and clip the outside leaves off of several different types of lettuce and other greens for a salad and her eyes really lit up. Personally I am simple and prefer simple romaine lettuce but she would love to have several varieties at her disposal. I am starting to think about what I can plant for my fall garden and I was hoping you guys might have some suggestions about what will grow in our climate that makes great in a salad. What types of lettuce? We don't really eat regular cabbage but are there other types of cabbage that are more lettuce like? How about spinach and baby spinach (I don't even know if baby spinach is a different type of regular spinach that is harvested while it is still young). I keep hearing that radishes grow really fast and I assume the tops of those can go into a salad. Any other greens like mustard greens?

Howdy Tex:

Contact your Extension Agent/Master Gardeners for varieties that will grow in Zone 9a. Mary and I grow 7 different types of lettuce here in Zone 7a (Thomas Jefferson grew 19 types in his garden in Monticello, VA ). In early spring we plant in full sun in a Table Top height SFG that is mounted on wheels. As the spring progresses we roll the bed under the big shade tree and that extends the harvest for 3 or more weeks with some growing all summer. You can also use shade cloth to get similar results. Also check your seed catalogs for late bolting types that are good in your area. You should be able to grow lettuce in your area all winter.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

Gee I'm sorry it took so long to get back to you on this, somehow it slipped by. Like Mary and Ward said the Agr. Extension Office is a wonderful resource. I use mine all the time. They will have a list of what to plant when and what varieties grow best in your county. They most likely won't know about SFG per say but don't let that stop you from useing them. Here is the web address for the Harris County Extension Office. http://harris.agrilife.org/
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  H_TX on 6/9/2011, 11:15 am

Thank you Shannon.

I just checked out that site and found a list of vegetable varieties they suggest for Harris county and under head lettuce they recommended "None." That alone will help save me some heartache and some space in my garden.

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  shannon1 on 6/10/2011, 12:22 am

I'm glad I could help. I never grow head lettuce as the leaf lettuce is so much more productive. It is ready earlier, and one can just harvest the outside leaves, a few at a time from each plant and get a bigger harvest. Plus they are so pretty. I have to wait until fall to plant it here, it's just too hot this time of year.
I have found growing the recommended types of veggies very helpful, but I still experiment with others so far none have done as well as what the ag. center have suggested.
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  DebbieR on 8/13/2011, 3:41 pm

I think I'm in the same basic area that you are, just a little closer to Galveston.

Late last August/early September I planted beets, swiss chard, and spinach. We found out that we like the beets for their leaves much more than for their roots. I usually mixed them with some store bought romaine and dried cranberries. Everything did well through the winter and into the spring before the leaves became too bitter for my family's taste.

Other than greens, you might also like to try some sugar snap peas that you can plant mid September and are great in the salad. We really enjoyed cucumbers this past spring and into summer; I'm tempted to try a fall crop this year.

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 8/13/2011, 3:57 pm

When things cool off, I would have all of these on hand...



Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach

Baby Leaf Hybrid Spinach

Red Sails Leaf Lettuce

Salad Bowl Leaf Lettuce

Arugula (one square if you've never tried it, maybe split a square with radishes or something)

Of course, Simpson Elite (or Black-seeded Simpson)

Buttercruch Lettuce (a semi-bib type with excellent texture)

Champion Radishes



Toss all that together with some cherry tomatoes and shredded carrots and you have one masterpiece of a salad.
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  westie42 on 8/13/2011, 4:27 pm

I see you too like spinach have you ever tried malabar spinach. It grows as a vine producing very well up to hard freeze. It comes in red and green varieties the red seems to be most popular but this year I tried both and see few differences. They take some time so starting indoors is recommended and have some trellis in mind as they can spread out but in a nicely manageable manner. They produce pretty red to purple seed sacks to harvest at season end for replanting next season. The leaves are more heart shaped and thicker than regular spinach, It comes from India and for the space required give a lot of harvest. They work well in salads, cooked up or just raw with possibly a little more flavor than most spinach. One square of 9 or so seeds would do nicely on a cylinder tower or trellis probably reaching 6-7 feet then topped for control. Since I like vining house plants they may get a trial this winter as an edible indoor air cleaner.

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Re: Salad Garden

Post  Goosegirl on 8/13/2011, 8:24 pm

@westie42 wrote: Since I like vining house plants they may get a trial this winter as an edible indoor air cleaner.



I like this idea!

GG
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  littlejo on 8/14/2011, 12:40 am

I'm making a salad garden for winter here.

I was recomended to get 'Jerico' lettuce. It was developed in Israel for growth in the heat. I'ts not supposed to bolt.

While looking for seeds, I chose several varieties:



Lettuce butterhead type 'Tom Thumb' makes small individual heads, enough for 1 person.

Lettuce 'Red Sails' leaf type with red tinge to leafs.

And, just had to have carrots 'carrot baby 'little finger' Makes a mini carrot good for salads!

Jo
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Re: Salad Garden

Post  shannon1 on 8/14/2011, 2:24 am

I have grown red sails in the past with great results. Not only is it tender and extra yummy, it looks beautiful too.
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