by donR Sept 5. 2015
The weather in the Pacific Northwest is dipping, fruit and vegetables will soon be harvested yet the leafy green crops will hang on until the first hard frost. Fortunately, you an enjoy green salads for a couple more months if you start more growing in your garden. Below are 5 tips for growing greens in the Fall. It is well worth the effort because you will have “free” salad makin’s until winter sets in.. Read more about growing salad greens in the Fall and preparing them the EZ way.
For Northwest Gardeners:You can plant lettuce as late as September first if you follow some guidelines. As long as the temperatures stay in the 35 to 55 degree range they will do fine without special care. If days are still hot, a mulch or straw covering with a light watering will keep the soil cooler. If night temperatures dip below 35 a plastic hoop cover will help to retain heat from the day’s sun.
Here are 5 tips to grow fall lettuce:
- Choose the warmest area in your lot for fall gardening. Avoid windy knolls.
- Soil needs to drain well to discourage mold on your plants.
- Kale and spinach can withstand cold temperatures. For kale, use started plants; plant spinach seeds.
- Romain lettuce, Swiss chard and Bok Choy grow faster when started in a greenhouse, hardened outside then transplanted in the garden.
- Leaf lettuce seeds can be sown in pots or barrels filled with light soil. Warm porches and patios are ideal places to put the pots as long as they are out of the wind and get some sun during the day.
The nice thing about growing your own lettuce is picking the outer leaves as it grows. Kale can reach 6 ft tall when you harvest the lowest leaves first and leave the upper ones to gather sunlight.
We’ve always said “If making a mess, make a big one.” So, we harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, kale, and Patty Pan squash, cutting them up after washing them. We also cut Romain lettuce and arranged the ingredients on the counter along with chopped nuts, sunflower seeds and raisins.
We filled six 16 oz tubs with the salad makin’s and refrigerated the tubs. Then we added shrimp to the remaining veggies and celebrated. We had salad for a week Now how easy is that?
Is it healthy to eat salad every day? My daughter Teresa would say “It depends.” But that’s a topic for the next post.