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Asian Greens

World cuisine has introduced Asian Greens to cooks everywhere. These piquant leaves are a boon, for most varieties are quick and easily grown. Many types thrive practically year round and, like all Brassicas, prefer cool temperatures and evenly moist soil. Seeds germinate in cool soil (about 45°F) so you can get an early start in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Running out of room? Grow smaller varieties like Tatsoi or Mizuna in pots, hanging baskets or wooden boxes. For baby greens, sow thickly and scissor-harvest at 3" to 4" tall. If your season is hot and short, shade baby greens with row covers or grow in dappled sunlight.

Average seed life: 3 years.

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Gardening Tips

Gardening Tips: Cool Weather Spinach
Summer gardeners miss out on the three seasons in which this tasty, nutritious green truly thrives. For fall Spinach, wait until cool weather is just starting to settle in, but there are still enough frost-free days to bring the crop to maturity. For winter Spinach, just protect it with a cold frame or--if your climate is mild--a layer of straw. The outer leaves may look beat-up in the dead of winter, but fresh new growth will continually appear at the center. For spring Spinach, you can keep on harvesting these wintered-over plants, or start new ones from seed as soon as the soil can be worked. Another trick is to sow a late fall crop that will germinate just before the ground freezes up, then overwinter the young seedlings. (In cold climates, protect them with a cold frame.) They’ll start to grow as soon as spring arrives!

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 Mâche, 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.

Direct-Sow Basics

Asian Greens Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
: ¼”-1/2"
Row Spacing: 12”
Seed Spacing:2”-3”
Days to Germination: 5-10 days
Germination Temperature: 70°-75°F

Our versatile, easy and popular Asian Greens thrive in cool temperatures, tolerating mild frost. Sow when the danger of heavy frost has passed. Asian Greens appreciate soil with a moderate amount of organic matter dug in. Keep the soil evenly moist for a mild, sweet taste. When growing individuals, thin them to 8" to 10" apart. For ‘baby leaf’ harvesting, lightly broadcast seed, sprinkle with soil and water lightly. As the plants grow to about 3" tall, give them a “haircut” for salads and stir-fries. Feed regularly to enjoy one or two more cuttings from the initial sowing. In cool summer areas, seed at 10 to 14 day intervals, ensuring a steady harvest of fresh, vitamin-rich greens. Hot weather causes hot and/or bitter flavor and bolting. Your last sowing may be toward the end of summer for fall harvest. Protect with shade cloth at the hottest part of summer days if necessary.

Shade Tolerance

Deer Resistant Seed Varieties