No garden space is complete without the addition of delicious fresh leafy greens. From lettuce to kale, leafy greens come in all colours, shapes, sizes, textures and flavours. They enjoy the cooler early Spring season and so now is the perfect time to grow them! This is why healthy salads are a key theme in this month’s Seed Pantry Grow Club boxes.
Leafy Greens couldn’t be easier to start growing too! Most can even be grown indoors or outdoors, in small spaces too, so they are perfect for your kitchen gardener no matter what size space you have!
Let’s run through a quick guide on how you can start growing your own healthy Leafy Green Salads!
1) The best way to start your Leafy Greens is indoors now (March). This will avoid any bad weather or late frosts that can kill or damage the plants. Use trays/small pots or composts discs to start the seedlings off.
2) Sow seeds or scatter over a tray with about 8-10cm depth of compost. Sow seeds at around 1cm deep or you can simply add a 1cm layer compost on top of the seeds if easier. Gently water the soil until moist but not too wet (you don’t want to dislodge the seeds with a great torrent!). You can water the base layer first and just add a little to the top 1cm layer after.
3) It should take around 7-14 days for the seeds to germinate. After a further 15 days, you can thin the seedlings by removing some of the plants if they are too tightly packed together, this helps remaining plants grow bigger to their full size (you can check spacing guides on seed packets). Or you can leave them tightly packed for baby leaf salads. After a total of 30-50 days, most leafy greens should be ready to harvest! Fresh crops for the kitchen table!!
4) For lettuce plants, you can cut the leaves you want for a meal, around 2.5cm above the base of the plants with scissors or a sharp knife. Your plants will grow more leaves for you 2 or 3 times. This is known as cut-and-come-again.
From mid-April, you will also be able to sow directly outside into patches or containers. Follow the same steps for indoor planting and they should also germinate in 7-14 days and be ready to harvest from 30 days!
So as you can see, it really is not that hard! Now the question is, what leafy greens should you start planting?! Probably the best place to start would be with lettuce , spinach and rocket as they are an easy and tasty way to start out. From there you can move on to kale, chard, and even oriental style leafy greens!
We have a whole range in the Grow Club this month, so come check them out and start your journey unto the leafy green world! 😁
Seed Pantry Team