It is officially gardening season in Northeast Missouri, and each day I dip into my seed storage container and start a few varieties indoors and direct sow a few more in the garden. I’m a firm believer in a slow and steady approach to gardening – even a half hour’s work each day will lead to a lot of food!
Right now, I am focused on growing salad greens. My early spring standards always include lettuce, kale, swiss chard, mesclun, and collards. But this spring, I’m feeling a bit sassy, so I’m throwing a few more favorites into the mix.
I’ve selected five of my favorite spring greens to share with you today. These five greens are easy to grow, and will add a little diversity and flavor to your salad blend.
Five Spring Greens to Add to your Garden
Mizuna is a delicious and tender Japanese green that you can eat raw in a salad blend, or cook like spinach. I love to graze on it straight out of the garden. I have both green Mizuna and Red Streaked Mizuna started in my garden. As an added bonus, mizuna is very cold-hardy, so it’s a wonderful green to plant in the fall as well; mine survived temperatures well below freezing without cover.
Corn salad forms small rosettes of greens, and is one of the first greens of the spring. Some sow corn salad seeds in the fall, but I have been sowing starting in mid-winter for a mid-spring harvest.
A 6 month old Ella Rose munches on dandelion greens.
You’ll probably think me crazy, but I am actually starting dandelion seeds this spring! Our property has plenty of invasive fescue, but not a single dandelion. I miss their gorgeous blooms, and Brian loves their slightly bitter greens. Dandelions are high in iron, calcium, and potassium, and wonderful in salads.
A low crawling and spreading “weed,” purslane is high in Vitamin E and Omega 3 Fatty Acids. It also makes an amazing salad. Last summer, our neighbor Julia brought over a salad made of purslane, tomato and feta. I was instantly hooked on this combination, and for the rest of the summer, I bought purslane by the pound from a local organic farmer.
Arugula has to be one of my favorite greens. I love the somewhat spicy flavor, and use it in salads and pesto. It even tastes great cooked – I’ve been to several gourmet pizza restaurants that serve up arugula-proscuitto pizza. For a more mild flavor, harvest arugula when it’s very young.
What are your favorite spring greens?
Pin it for later: