Spring greens are fun to grow in the cool weeks before the heat of summer begins. We have picked three favorites for you to try in your Georgia garden. You will be glad you did:
Arugula is a fast-growing green (about 40-45 days) that comes from the Mediterranean. It has a wonderful, peppery taste that works well in sandwiches as well as salads. It is even popular as a pizza topping.
Drunken Woman is a great addition to any garden. These bright green leaves have red, ruffled tips. This lettuce is a loose-leaf type that resists bolting (about 55 days). That makes it a great choice for Georgia. It has a sweet taste and remains crisp and flavorful even when stored in the refrigerator for several days.
Salad bowl (about 40 days) is a standard when it comes to spring lettuce. The bright green leaves are ruffled and are a nice addition to any salad. When fully mature it makes a loose head but can be harvested as leaf lettuce.
When planting greens in the spring choose loose-leaf varieties instead of head producing ones; you will have more success. You can simply cut off leaves to add to your salads instead of waiting for heads to form. The leaves don’t have to be fully mature to harvest. If we have a short spring and hit those warm summer weeks early, you will be able to enjoy some wonderful salads before the greens bolt. Homegrown greens have much more taste than anything you can purchase at the grocery store.
These seeds can be purchased at some seed racks at hardware and big box stores. They are easily ordered through seed catalogs. You can direct seed them or start them indoors. Sometimes they can be found as plants in specialty plant nurseries. For detailed instructions on planting these seeds see Lettuce is Luscious in a Georgia Community Garden, a past blog post. As always, your local UGA Cooperative Extension Agent is a great resource.