Leafy Greens

Person Author: Ryan Lewis Calender March 2, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

It’s getting to that busy time of year when every seed is vying for your attention. As days lengthen and soils warm you can almost feel that things are itching to get growing. The past few days have seen blue skies and sunshine for much of Britain and you can’t ignore that cue to get going.

The hardier leafy greens, such as Spinach, Kale and Swiss Chard, are perfect for sowing under cover now as unlike the more delicate salad greens they can be planted out slightly earlier and should cope with any late frosts or cold snaps. Alternatively, wait until mid to late March in southerly areas or April for cooler climbs and sow direct. I’m quite a fan of these plants and if, like me, you have chickens then they will appreciate you growing these too. I actually grow far too much as plants like Kale will last throughout the Winter and provide an excellent source of nutrition for your hens in a time when fresh food is scarce.

Three to try:

Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ – This plant is a true show stopper that can really add a blast of colour and fun to your garden or allotment. With it’s multicoloured stems and beautiful leafy tops this plant is good enough simply to look at but don’t forget it tastes great too.

Spinach ‘Reddy F1’ – Excellent in salads and used when young this Spinach cultivar adds a touch of sweetness and glamour to your plate and palette. As with most leafy greens this one is perfect for growing in containers or on the windowsill as a microgreen.

Kale ‘Nero di Toscana’ – Bring Italy to your part of the UK with this beautifully dark leaved plant that holds a statuesque presence wherever you plant it. Equally beautiful in a flower bed this Kale also tastes great and will last through the Winter.

As all of these plants have larger seeds it is easy to sow them in to modules individually or sow them thinly in seed trays and prick out at a later date. Sow your seeds in to good quality seed compost and give them a light watering with a fine rose. Place them in to a propagator or place them on a bench in a greenhouse or cold frame and allow them to germinate. Remember to pot on as these plants grow and place in to their final positions when soils have warmed sufficiently.

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