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This prized cool-weather Salad Green is also known as Winter Purslane, Spanish Lettuce, Cuban Lettuce or Miner's Lettuce (because it provided valuable nutrition to the gold rush miners when other food was scarce). This northwest U.S. native can tolerate moderate frost and be grown all winter long in temperate climates that do not spike below 25°F regularly. Preferring colder temperatures for optimal production, it may also thrive in partial sunlight.

Average seed life: 3 years.

To broaden the range of texture and flavor in your garden and salads, don't forget to plant some of these specialty Salad Greens: Arugula, Asian Greens, Chervil, Claytonia, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Escarole, Frisee, Giant Red Mustard, Komatsuna, Lettuce, Mâche, Mibuna, Minutina, Mizuna, Orach, Radicchio, Salad Blends, Sorrel, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Tatsoi.

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Gardening Tips

Direct-Sow Basics

Claytonia Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
Seed Spacing:1/2”
Plant Spacing:4”-6”
Days to Germination: 2-15 days
Germination Temperature:55°-70°F

Claytonia, or Miner’s Lettuce, is a prized, cool weather salad green that grows in tufts with delicate, edible white flowers in each leaf ’s center. Also known as Winter Purslane, this northwest U.S. native can tolerate moderate frosts and be grown all winter in temperate climates that do not spike below 25°F regularly. Grow in cooler temperatures for optimal production. Direct-sow 1⁄4" deep and 1⁄2" apart in rich, well-draining soil as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring or in late summer. Once 2" tall, thin seedlings to 4" to 6" apart. Keep the soil evenly moist and preferably a bit shaded. Harvest about 60 days after sowing by cutting off the top half of the small plant, permitting it to grow again for multiple harvests. Best used fresh and tiny, Claytonia’s elegant leaves bring a rich creaminess to delicate salads.

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.

Shade Tolerance

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