Salad greens generally prefer to grow in cooler weather conditions, thriving in temperatures around 60 degrees F. This makes them a great spring and early summer crop, but growing great greens can start to get tricky in the hottest months of the year and in areas that receive full, direct sun. Many salad greens tend to bolt quickly when the weather starts to warm up. During the hottest months of the year, it's important to choose types and varieties that will hold in the garden. This week we have Natalie Carver, from Love and Carrots, a DC-based edible landscaping company, to discuss warm weather salad greens with us.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Why growing salad greens in warm weather can be challenging
- Loads of tips and tricks for growing and harvesting salad greens in warm weather
- Our favorite varieties of warm season greens
- Heat is definitely a stressor that causes plants to bolt, but another factor is hours of daylight.
- There are various strategies to successfully grow salad greens in warm weather and longer days, including:
- Finding a shady microclimate in your garden
- Using pelletized seeds for ideal spacing
- Selecting varieties that are heat-tolerant
- To prevent bitterness, harvest in the morning, ideally before the sun reaches the leaves.
- The varieties we discussed on the episode include:
- New Red Fire: a reliable summer lettuce, great texture, red leaves with green at the base
- Adriana: a butterhead/boston variety with leaves that are lightly folded
- Coastal Star Romaine and Jericho Romaine: romaines in general are slower to bolt in warm weather
- Summer Lettuce Mix: a cut-and-come-again variety
- Asian Greens, including Mizuna and Joi Choi
- Green Wave: a broad leaf mustard green
- Purslane: a cultivated, upright version of the common weed, with a crisp, almost cucumber-like flavor
Don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes for your chance to win warm season salad green-inspired seed kit from Seattle Seed Co.! The kit includes two types of Purslane, Southern Giant Curled Mustard, Early Mizuna, Outredgeous Red Lettuce, Little Gem Lettuce and Australian Yellow Lettuce . We're giving away two of these kits and the two winners will be announced on next week's podcast, so leave us a review and stay tuned!
In addition to reviewing the podcast, all our listeners get 15% off your order at Seattle Seed Co. anytime using the code EBPODCAST.
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More about our special guest:
Natalie Carver is the horticulture director at Love & Carrots. Natalie's path into farming started on a cross-country bike tour of farms. This inspired her to start gardening intensively at university, and then spent two years farming in British Columbia. As horticulture director, she propagates the supply of vegetable, herb, and perennial seedlings that fill 140 gardens across DC. She is also a garden coach, teaching new and experienced gardeners how to grow their own food. To Natalie, the process from seed to harvest is a pace of life, and she celebrates working and eating with the seasons.