What are Leafy Greens?

Leafy Greens also known as salad greens, leaf vegetables, pot herbs or simply greens. Leafy greens are edible plant leaves that we eat as a vegetable. They are green, shallow-rooted plants, which are very beneficial for our health, because they are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Generally leafy greens are easy to grow and have a quick growth cycle. For example they are ready to harvest within 4-6 weeks only. They are used to add flavor & texture to your soups and salads and color to your tasty salad for any time of the day. When you learn how to grow your own leafy greens? then you don’t have to buy salad greens from the grocery store and discover the joy of growing your own food(Greens)at home. 

Health Benefits of Leafy Greens

As a gardener, we can choose from a variety of greens that we can grow our own whether we have land or even no land. Leafy greens are considered the natural storehouse of nutrients for human beings as they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, folic acid & beta-carotene. Apart from this, there are many reasons to eat (and love) your greens as they are so fresh, when you grow your own and healthy at the same time.

Reasons to Grow Leafy Greens at Home

  1. Leafy greens are really easy to grow
  2. They require very minimal time & effort
  3. They grow very fast, so we can harvest them in very short period of time; such as only within 4-6 weeks
  4. We can grow them in very limited space
  5. Suitable for all climates
  6. Even we can grow them Indoors
  7. We can grow them in Pots also

Types of Leafy Greens

A wide range of leafy vegetables like kale, lettuce, chards, beet greens, mustard, amaranth etc., are available in different flavors for consumption in different dishes according to your taste & choice.

For a long season of salad greens, plan on buying at least eight or 10 different kinds of seeds. Start the year with varieties that thrive in cool soil and relatively low light conditions. These include the lettuces Arctic King, Winter Marvel, the arugula Astro and many beautiful cutting mixes blended for spring growing conditions.

Mustard greens

Start seeds indoors when it’s either too cold or too hot outdoors. You can grow under lights, in a greenhouse or in a sunroom. Use a potting mix that’s blended for seed-starting and plant in small pots or even used boxes.

1. Mustard greens

Large purple-tinged leaves have a mildly spicy mustard flavor. Like most leafy greens, mustard greens are cool-weather crops best planted in early spring or even in fall.

Mustard greens grow fast than any other leafy greens. I love mustard greens, because they are not only tasty and nutritious, but we can grow them in very short period of time.

You can start harvesting 20 days after sowing for baby greens.

Spinach

2. Spinach

We all love Spinach because of it is so healthy and tasty at the same time.

We can use it in our daily diet in so many ways. You can make Spinach Juice, spinach Saag, Palak Paneer, Aloo Palak Ki Sabji and in Salads. So we need it for all year.

You can sow spinach seeds a bit more thickly for a fall crop than you would in spring. If the soil is still very warm, it may reduce germination.

Plant in sun to part sun. Harvest the leaves anytime; the small, tender ones are tastier than large leaves

So keep the soil little moist, either by extra watering or spreading an organic mulch as soon as the seeds are up and growing. Another benefit of mulch is that it keeps the leaves cleaner.

Variety of Lettuce

3. Variety of Lettuce

Lettuce is really tasty and we can use it all year, especially in Salads. We can make Salad of Lettuce, cucumber, onion, carrots, broccoli and eat it as a side dish or eat as a meal.

Lettuce comes in an endless array of colors and leaf types, and all except slow-growing iceberg varieties make excellent garden crops. Lettuce and other leafy greens are ideal for any home garden.

You can grow lettuce in so many varieties; such as-Romaine Lettuce, Watercress, Butterhead Lettuce, Iceberg Lettuce and Arugula.

As long as you plant lettuce in early spring and again in late summer, so the plants grow in cool weather, these dependable lettuce varieties will give great results grown almost anywhere.

So we should grow it and for growing a colorful lettuce Combine two or more varieties of lettuce to create texture in the garden.

4. Green Onions

Green onions

I think most of us, we use onions in our daily use, but the green onion is much more tasty and healthy.

So don’t forget to grow green onions. When the plants(onions) have produced foliage but aren’t flowering yet, harvest every third plant by removing the plant, from the soil.

The leaves can be used as scallions in flavoring or garnishing in all Indian dishes; such as Dals(lentil soups) Kala Chana Soup, Missi Roti, Pakoras and even Salads.

The remaining onions are given enough room in the ground to develop into full size before they’re ready for harvest, where the bulbs can be used in cooking.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary

Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with blue flowers. It is an aromatic and distinctive herb with a sweet, resinous flavor.

This herb can be grown outdoors as a perennial shrub. Rosemary can be grown from seed, but germination rates are generally quite low and seedlings are slow to grow.

Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to start new rosemary plants from cuttings that can be taken from established plants. Cuttings grow quickly in good conditions and should be ready for outdoor planting in about 8 weeks. You can also buy Rosemary plant from your nearest Nursery.

Water rosemary plants evenly throughout the growing season, but be careful not to overwater. Snip off stems to use fresh, or hang them in the kitchen for dried rosemary. Rosemary tea is said to enhance one’s memory.

6. Coriander

Coriander

In the side,  Plastic Gardening Pot, you can see Fresh Coriander, which I have grown from regular Coriander, which I bought from the Grocery Store to use in the Kitchen.

The Seed of Coriander was not specific. Means you can also grow Coriander from regular Coriander that we use in our Kitchen. This herb is used to flavor many recipes and the entire plant is edible, though the leaves and seeds are used most often.

Coriander is sown from late March until early September. To achieve a constant supply of leaves through the Summer sow small amounts every 3-4 weeks. Germination of coriander takes up to 3 weeks.

The best months for leaf production are late spring and Autumn. Coriander grow best sown directly, rather than grown in seed trays and transplanting.

Harvest the leaves when the plant is big and robust enough to cope. Pluck or cut each leaf off the stem or snip whole stems if necessary. Both the leaves and the stalks can be used.

Growing Leafy Greens in Backyard or Containers

  1. Perfect Space in Backyard: In your Backyard, choose a location that gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight for these leafy greens. This will ensure a high-quality harvest
  2. Water your Greens: Keep your greens hydrated by checking them for watering daily. Take care that the soil does not dry out completely

How to Grow Leafy Greens in Pots?

Leafy greens grow much faster than other vegetables, and also they are very healthy and full with all nutrients. Even you don’t have backyard, still you can grow them in Pots or grow bags.

  1. A good potting mix: Leafy greens grow well in loose, well-drained soil. The potting mix should be lighter than the garden soil, consistent & most importantly, compost-based mix that is teeming with life as a healthy soil contributes to the plant’s health
  2. Fill your container with potting mix: Mix equal parts of moist soil-less potting mix to garden soil and press it slightly in the container to remove any air pockets
  3. Sow the seeds: Direct sow the seeds you have chosen ¼” to ½” deep into the well-drained soil at least 8” to 12” apart. You can sprinkle some of the seeds directly like spinach, fenugreek, mustard, whereas you can plant other greens like lettuce, kale and chards at a distance of at least 8 inches. Gently dab the soil to allow the seeds to get covered properly
  4. Watering Can: Use a watering can to gently water the planted seeds until they germinate. Keep the soil moist until the germination starts, but avoid overwatering. How to Check? stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it’s moist, wait another day, but if it’s dry, water it immediately. Be Careful: Never use pipes and hoses in the initial period, because the heavy water flow can wash away the seeds
  5. Harvesting Leafy Greens: You can harvest the baby leaves within 3-4 weeks, whereas fully mature leaves within 6-8 weeks. The proper time to harvest them depends on your preferences. Leaves tend to be more tender and mild in taste when they are young and tiny. You can eat all of them raw at this stage. Don’t harvest an entire head of lettuce or kale at once, because, you can partially harvest a plant and let it grow again and again. Hold a handful of leaves and cut them about ½”-1” above the base with scissors. The leaves will continue to grow, means you can harvest many times.

How to Harvest Your Greens

There are many ways to harvest salad greens. In all cases, you want to make a clean cut using a knife or scissors. Most greens will re-grow after cutting, as long as you leave about a half inch of plant behind.

Individual leaves may be picked, entire heads may be cut, cutting mixes and leaf lettuce may be cropped off with scissors. Experiment and see which techniques you like best.

How to Grow Leafy Greens
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