Greens kale Lettuce mulching (mentioned) Spinach

Greens – Now is the Time to Plan for the Heat of Summer

I’m looking forward to an abundance of all kinds of greens this year:  various kales, lettuces, borage, chard, beet greens, corn salad, claytonia,  mizuna, arugula and anything else that will grow.

In peak season they come in abundance — which I love.  But I’m also planning for the heat of the summer — when almost no one has greens – or if they ARE still in the garden the gardener thinks they’re no good.

I use to think that too.  But greens that you think might be too big or too bitter for fresh eating are sometimes perfect for stir fried greens or roasted greens.  You’ll be amazed at how the bitterness fades with sauteing or roasting.  Believe me they’re delicious!

And please — don’t pull lettuce up when you think it’s past it’s peak and too bitter to do anything with. You would be amazed at how even stalked lettuce can change after a rain. Read my example under the subtopic Assume Nothing in my post Lettuce – Bitter?  Secrets to Keeping it Tasty.

Things you can do now to extend the time you have eatable greens in your garden:

Plan for Variety

  • Make sure your grow some romaine lettuces in addition to loose leaf and crisp varieties. Romaine lettuces overall can last a lot longer in the garden.
  • Add arugula – even if you don’t like it fresh — it’s sweet and delicious stir fried.
  • Grow a few beets even it you don’t like beets — because the greens are wonderful!
  • Grow borage.  It’s especially tasty as a cooked green  mixed with other greens.
  • Grow chard, corn salad, claytonia, and mizuna and any other green to add to the variety.  Some will last much longer in your garden than others — so grow them all to see.

Stagger your plantings.

I find it especially beneficial to plant lettuce almost every week through May.  Beets I plant 2 or 3 times.

Mulch your soil.

One of the many benefits of mulch is keeping soil temperatures down.  This makes your greens last a lot longer.

Plant in various spots throughout the garden.

Whenever possible plant your lettuce or heat sensitive greens where they’ll be shaded by other plants.

If you have a nice East facing location that just receives sun in the AM only — it would be perfect for lettuce and other greens.

Final Thought

Take these simple actions now and you’ll be enjoying greens and lettuces long after most folks have pulled their up.


Related Posts:

Lettuce – Biter? – Secrets to Keeping it Tasty

Lettuce – Eating Fresh Even After it Stalks

Lettuce – Delicious as a Cooked Green


Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and a lot healthier.


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  • Hmmm, a nice East facing location – I think I’ve got just the place! We love greens too, but as you might imagine, with my soil temps. in previous years, I was not eating lettuce anytime after May. Swiss Chard has been my main standby throughout the summer heat (not as great for salad, though). Claytonia is new to me.
    Great tip on the stalked lettuce, I’ve always composted them. I’ll be trying this.

  • Sandra, if your East facing location is the new one by the house —- just make sure that nothing poisonous has been sprayed there. Many people (I’m NOT one) have their homes “treated” with poisons around the home. If you’re new at the home — you may not know what’s been done. Hopefully, this won’t be a concern, but thought I’d mention it just in case.

    If you can use that location and heavily mulch the area — I think you’ll be eating and enjoyed lettuce and other greens well into the summer.

  • We’ve lived here for over a decade and not sprayed anything, so we should be ok. I put in romaine and arugula today in that spot.

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