Vermont Garden Journal: Wild Greens And How To Cultivate Them
Some wild greens are found outside, growing on their own and while others require some cultivation to reach their full potential. Either way, wild greens like arugula or mache make a great addition to any meal.
Over the last 20 years, arugula has developed a gourmet reputation. But for many years it was considered a poor man's annual green harvested from fields through the winter.
There are a few specialized varieties:
- Sylvetta has a deeply serrated leaf
- Astro is more heat tolerant
- Wasabi has even more bite than regular arugula.
Mache is a cold tolerant green, though not as well-known as arugula. It's also called corn salad because it's commonly planted after the corn harvest to grow in the cool of fall and winter.
Mache also has a number of different varieties including the mildew resistant Vit mache.
How To Plant Wild Greens:
Both arugula and mache can germinate in 40 degree soil, making them good choices for early spring plantings in cold frames.
- Plant in well-drained soil amended with compost and cover with floating row covers to protect them from pests and freezing weather.
This Week's Garden Tip:
Don't forget about your house plants! Give subtropical foliage plants such as philodendron and ficus a shower. They'll appreciate the leaf wash and look better for the rest of the winter.