Spring greens are a staple of any salad. And as we move into the beginning of the summer months, the spring greens will start popping up everywhere. If you have the chance to get to a farmer's market, you can pick up some of these greens fast and easily.
But you can also grow them at home. Many of the spring greens that make up delicious salads are simple to grow at home and are fast growers. The best part is it takes almost no work.
Most stores will have large rectangular flowerpots that are approximately 6 to 8 in deep. You'll need a couple of these, along with some bags of potting soil. And then, once you choose your seeds, you're set for starting your own spring greens right at home.
The loveliest thing about spring greens is that they like cooler weather. So as soon as your nights consistently get above freezing, you can start spring greens on your porch.
- First, choose a location that gets plenty of sun, but not a place that can easily get knocked over.
- Secondly, you'll need a couple of rectangular flower pots, enough potting soil to fill them, and then your seeds.
- Third, fill the flowerpots with the potting soil. Slightly pack it down, so it's not overly fluffy. Then water thoroughly.
- Finally, make a row for your seeds, sprinkle them in, and lightly cover them over as the package recommends.
Keep the potting soil moist without flooding it. Within a week, you should see some spring greens starting. And within a month, you'll have fresh greens right at your fingertips.
Let's take a look at some of those greens now.
There's a couple of different types of spinach and they are all excellent. It's a nearly perfect source of iron, vitamin K, fiber, magnesium, and potassium. You can eat it young for tender baby spinach or let it grow and get more flavor and richer nutrients.
Spinach is one of those vegetables that contain heavy amounts of alpha-lipoic acid and chlorophyll, which helps mitigate some of the health problems with diabetes and cancer. It's also one of the few non-yellow vegetables that contain significant amounts of vitamin A, which is perfect for healthy skin and hair. Eating spinach is almost as good as eating carrots for your eyes.
There are nearly 100 different types of lettuces out there, with wide ranges of nutrition. They all have chlorophyll, magnesium, iron, and fiber. Some of the richer and more flavorful and can provide nearly a daily dose of some vitamins.
Lettuce is perfect for salads, providing delicious leaves with a wide variety of tastes from light and airy to rich and spicy. If you want your salads to be exciting and flavorful, choose a lettuce mix to try different tastes.
The entire dandelion, from the flower to root, is edible. It's one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, even if most people find them irritating in their front yards. It's packed with fiber, B vitamins, and lots of antioxidants.
It's one of the top herbal medicines, as well. It's known to help fight inflammation, control blood sugar, reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, aid weight loss, and help keep a healthy digestive tract. It's also perfect for helping keep your liver clean and your immune system strong.
You can eat the leaves when they are young and tender, or wait a bit and get the root to brew it up like coffee. Dandelion root tea is often a substitute for regular coffee.
Arugula has a distinctive taste that's slightly peppery. It's more a cousin of broccoli and Brussel sprouts than the lettuces it’s normally sold with. A study showed that one of the things that makes arugula great is that it's exceptionally high in cancer-fighting nutrients. Like most other greens here, it's very high in vitamin A, K, C, folate, potassium, and calcium.
These tiny leaves are a group of lettuces, root vegetable tops, and other leafy vegetables harvested very young. Rather than waiting until the leaves are 6 to 10 inches long, they get picked when less than 2 inches.
Microgreens are tender and tasty, yet still packed with nutrition. They comprise things like lettuces, spinach, beet tops, carrot tops, turnip tops, broccoli leaves, young cabbage, chard, collards, and kale.
Once your greens get to be about 2 inches tall, you can start thinning them out, adding the microgreens to your salad while letting the others continue to grow. It’s a perfect way to thin out your pots and get a long and bountiful harvest.
Even smaller than microgreens, sprouts are the newly budded leaves of seeds. You can start sprouts indoors by placing lettuce, cruciferous vegetable seeds, or beans into a jar and covering them with water. After soaking overnight, keep the seeds slightly moist, and within a week, you will have sprouts. Once they start taking on an edge of green, you can eat them.
Sprouts are highly nutritious and one of the easiest things you can grow. Even in the wintertime, you can have fresh greens by eating sprouts.
We hope you'll try your hand growing the spring greens. They're easy, delicious, and growing your own food is one of the fastest ways to learn what good food tastes like.