Saturday, April 29, 2023

Many Moods of Spring Greens

"It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn." 
- B.C. Forbes

Buttercrunch Lettuce - Spring 2023

Plants are alive - they communicate, they scream, the leaves get droopy / curled when they haven't had enough water, and the plants get upset if they get too much water.  It's quite clear, plants are alive even if they don't have what we consider to be a normal brain.

Just like other beings that are alive, each type of plant has preferences and certain conditions that they like.  Spring greens are where this is the most noticeable.

Spring greens like cool weather but they don't like freezing temps nor do they like it when it gets too hot (think 85+ F or 29+ C).  They have very specific conditions they need to thrive.

Greens that fall into this category are your arugulas, lettuce, radishes, spinach, etc.  To get the best tasting greens, they require cool weather.  Once it gets too hot out and past their comfort zone they start bolting to produce seed and the whole plant gets a hell of a lot more bitter the hotter the temperatures get.

If you've tried growing greens and they ended up being really bitter, that's because it was too hot outside, plain and simple.

Instead of trying to get the plants to conform to the conditions you want them to grow in, which will only result in all parties involved being frustrated.  Simply recognize what each plant wants and needs to thrive then give them those conditions.  This will give you the happiest plants and the best tasting food.

Sure, the plants will certainly still grow outside of their comfort zone but they will not flourish and the end product will not taste good.

For spring greens, start planting them early in the spring and plant new seeds each week so you have a continuous harvest for the spring / early summer.  If the temperature is going to drop below freezing or get close to it, cover the plants with row covers.  Frost / snow will kill the majority of spring green seedlings.  They like the cold but they don't want to freeze.  Conversely when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, take the row covers off so they don't get too hot.

There are some greens that don't mind the frost, snow or even the heat but we're not going to dive into that aspect today.  However if you want to grow a green that enjoys all of the weather conditions and temperatures, Orach is your best bet.

Work with nature, not against it.

Keep it real!

No comments:

Post a Comment