How to Grow Greens

Planting Greens

Plant in light, well-drained, rich, moist soil in early spring through mid summer. Grows best in cool spring or fall conditions. Risk of bolting in very hot conditions. Can tolerate some shade in summer. Plant directly in the garden 1/4” deep and later thin to about 6-8” apart with rows 18” apart. Keep well watered. Typically does not need fertilizer. Allow 5-10 days for germination.

Harvesting Greens

Can begin to harvest greens as early as three weeks for small leaves in salads. Most types mature in at least 45 days with the larger heading varieties requiring 60-75 days. Best if eaten immediately but can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator.

Saving Greens Seeds

Suggested isolation is ¼ mile to prevent cross pollination. Barriers such as barns, tree lines, etc. may allow for shorter distances. Allow the plants to bolt and flower. Harvest individual pods as they begin to dry out. Harvest in the morning while the dew is still on the pods as the seed can easily shatter. Use a screen to help with the cleaning. Seeds should be viable for 3-5 years if kept cool and dry.

Common Problems

  • Flea Beetle
    Tiny, black, brown, or bronze beetles that have large hind legs and jump like fleas. They eat small holes in stems and leaves and lay eggs in soil near the plants. Keep plants well watered as damage is more severe in dry weather. Use floating row covers. Beetles prefer the hot sun, so interplant crops to provide shade if possible. A garlic spray may also prove beneficial. Planting sage nearby can help prevent black flea beetles.

Suggested Companions

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pumpkins
  • Gourds
  • Marigolds
  • Nasturtiums
  • Sweet Alyssum
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage

Poor Companions

  • Beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries


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