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Hail to the Hardy Greens
Most garden greens can hardly wait for cool weather to come. They perk up and sweeten up as the mugginess of August fades away. Crops such as spinach, arugula, claytonia and mache, if protected by a cold frame or simple unheated greenhouse, survive the winter in cold climates, to be cut and re-cut for a continuous harvest. Sow them in September in the north, October in warmer parts of the country. They do best hunkering down, close to the earth. Lettuce and endive over-winter best when cut at baby leaf size rather than full-sized heads.

Kale, collards and Brussels sprouts fare better if grown to full size and left outdoors to soldier on as long as they can, since they do not re-grow if cut back in winter. We can often harvest them for our Christmas table, even in snowy Maine.

Also known as “Rocket”, Arugula is a snap to grow and adds tang to sandwiches, salads and pasta. Thinning to 6″ between plants encourages larger, milder leaves. It’s possible to sow as baby greens, but keep it cut regularly, as Arugula bolts more quickly when thickly planted. Spring sow as soon as the ground can be worked and again in the early fall: hot weather causes Arugula to bolt and become even more tangy!

Average seed life: 1 year

#2900 Classic Arugula: 30-40 days
Our classic garden arugula is a most-grow for all of us who covet fresh salad greens. This heirloom has deeply lobed, dark green leaves that can grow to a mature 8″ long. (OP.)

Packet of 1000 Seeds / $3.05

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#2902 Astro Arugula: 36 days
With a milder bite and wider leaves, fewer lobes and more diminutive mid-ribs than other varieties, young Astro has little paddle-shaped leaves that are almost as succulent as spinach. (OP.)

Packet of 1000 Seeds / $3.25

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#2905 Runaway Arugula: 20-40 days
A unique, dark green, serrated-leaf variety, Runaway is similar in appearance to Rustic or Wild Arugula, but grows extraordinarily fast and is amazingly productive. It has a zingy, peppery flavor that doesn’t even come close to being bitter, even when mature. Its erect, compact plants are also bolt-resistant. (OP)

Packet of 500 Seeds / $3.55

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#2910 Rustic Arugula: 50-60 days
At our first bite, we were blown away by Rustic Arugula’s very special nutty, earthy flavor. Some of our group were actually speechless for a moment, even though we were talking about our favorite subject: vegetables! This is a smaller, wilder arugula featuring fine, deeply-indented dark green leaves which resist bolting in heat. Rustic takes longer to germinate than other arugula but is worth the wait. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination. Traditionally grown in the hills of Italy, this pungent, lively green is typically found in peasant-style salads. Rustic is outstanding on pizza: top crust with chopped leaves, roasted garlic, raisins (for a touch of Tuscany) and goat cheese. (OP.)

Packet of 250 Seeds / $3.35

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