Mache Winter Gardening

Six Reasons to Grow Mache

The first two reasons:

  • It’s one of the most delicious greens you can find.
  • AND it grows in the winter without protection. Brush back the snow (or chip into the ice) and harvest.

Without considering its other great benefits, those are reasons enough for almost any gardener to want it.

Mache is well known in European countries. It’s available in grocery stores there in spring, late fall and winter.

Being low to the ground, mache has to be hand harvested. That makes profit difficult, so it’s seldom seen in US grocery stores.

Friend and reader, Amy, whose husband is German, was with me in the garden one fall. Mache was everywhere. She knew exactly what it was because whenever they’d visit her husband’s home in Germany (in cool seasons) they’d enjoy this green in abundance. Later, she told me how delighted and surprised her husband was when she served the mache salad with dinner that evening!

Reason 3 – It reseeds.

Once it’s established you’ll have it every year without any work.


Reason 4 Seldom available unless you grow it.

Growing your own is about the only way you’re gonna be able to enjoy this green.

Reason 5 – Mache can almost single-handedly make a tremendous contribution to your health at a time that you’re not able to get other greens to supplement your diet.

If you’ve studied nutrition you already know that almost all the minerals and vitamins we need to be healthy come from plants.

In the spring and summer we have a multitude of plants to choose from to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals we need. But in the winter, fresh greens are hard to come by.

Power packed with Vitamins A and C, mache also  provides iron, Vitamin B6, manganese, copper, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and tryptophan (an amino acid).

These vitamins and minerals make it beneficial to your vision, immune system, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, skin-bone-teeth health, brain health, blood sugar levels and more.

Reason 6 – Growing it as part of a plan for emergencies.

When there’s no access to stores and power is down, it could help you stay alive and in good health.

It has it’s feet in the wild and is more likely to outlast things in the garden that need protection in cold weather.

For part of your emergency plan in warmer weather try malabar and/or magentaspreen. They have their feet in the wild as well and are edible for a much longer time than many garden greens. They’ll last until frost, and by that time mache will have made its appearance in the garden.

Final Thoughts

September is the perfect time to sow mache in your garden.

When you get all those rave reviews serving it as part of your Thanksgiving and/or Christmas feast, let me know.

Related Posts:

Growing Winter Greens – Starved for Lettuce and other Greens

Mache – Why Grow it and Secrets to Having Enough

Mulching, Weeds, Annuals, Crop Residue to the Rescue



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  • Thanks to you I have Mache reseeding in quite a few places in my garden and I love it. It is a little difficulty or should I say it is time consuming to harvest. I think I will seed some in pots to see if I can get it up higher so I don’t have to bend over as much.
    I am so thrilled to have heard about it from you Theresa.

  • Toni, you’re right, it definitely takes a bit longer to harvest than lettuce! But well worth it when we want something especially delicious or highly nutritious. Let me know how it does for you in pots.

    Mary, I just ordered some from Fedco ( and High Mowing Seed (, but there are other suppliers as well.
    Ones I can think of are: (Baker Creek Heirloom)


  • Theresa,
    I am excited to try mache. Does it germinate quickly. How long does it take to mature?
    Never was excited to try it before now. So you made it very appealing to me.
    I have been sifting compost from yard waste, garden waste, wood chips and coffee grounds and of course leaves and have three trash cans full of rich compost for the garden. Should I use it in the spring for planting or put it on top of my wood chip cover at the end of fall? Do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks Steve

  • Steve, mache takes 10 to 14 days to germinate in favorable conditions. It will just sit there if soil temperatures are above 68ºF. It likes cooler temperatures. Probably takes a month to get big enough to harvest. Depends on temperatures.
    Also read the post on Growing Winter Greems under Related Posts and scroll to How to Get it Started in Your Garden. That’ll tell you what I did.
    If you decide to use your compost in the fall, why not put it under the wood chips rather than on top. Spring is ok too.
    I really have a lot more to say about compost, and will get to that post one of these days.

  • This is funny, because I just planted corn salad, aka mache, for the first time. Started fall veggies last week, right before school started. Haven’t had time to do so for a number of years. Most of the others are up, but now I know I will have to give the mache a lot more wait time for germination.

  • Great hearing from you Abigail. Hope all has been well.
    Appreciate your taking time to comment. Good luck with the mache. I know you will enjoy it!

  • I’ve been living off the garden a lot this year and even put up 5 quarts of green beans the other day. Never canned before this. It gives me a little more security, being that my husband passed away last May and I am trying to watch the finances. The last thing we did together was start seeds for the garden, something he had never volunteered to do before. Harvesting from those seeds every day brings good memories.

  • Oh Abigail, I am so sorry to hear that your husband passed away last May. I extend my deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you. The loss of a spouse that was “part of you” is not an easy thing to deal with.
    I understand too watching finances.
    I have every confidence that you can make things work, but I know too that that doesn’t make it any easier.
    If you feel I can be of help to you in any way, please email me.
    Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Theresa,
    I did not know you responded until a couple days ago. Thanks for the advice on the compost. I’ll need to think about putting it under the wood chips that are already on the ground if that is what you mean. I am getting serious about gardening in practical ways. Like replanting with second and third crops that will take me well into the frost season. My freezer is completely full with mostly garden veggies and fruit. Paul Guatschi recommends putting a thin layer of wood chips on the strawberry patch every fall to ensure continued plant reproduction instead of replacing them every 3-4 years. What say you?
    Praying all is well

  • Hey Steve. I love wood chips for strawberries. When we use to have access to them I always used them on the strawberries.
    Pine is really nice for berries as well. I use straw now because that’s what I have.
    You might want to consider taking up the old plants each year and leaving the newer ones.
    Glad your freezer is full and that you’re ready for winter!

  • Theresa,
    You have a direct impact on how my garden goes, I figure you should share in the results. I could not wait for another post to share my success.
    My summer garden is winding down and it has been the best garden by far over 5 years. There are many things I am impressed with, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, beans, peppers, etc.

    The one thing I am most impressed with is zucchini squash I am still getting squash from my plants. I owe most all of this success to you. Although the vine borer, squash bugs, and powdery mildew have all tried to make me fail, I have not. Not all is rosy though my spring garden was almost non existent. My fall crop is not what I want it to be either but better than the spring was. There is still time for the fall crop to produce.

    Hope all is well with you and look forward to another blog post.

  • Steve, your comments really meant a lot to me and I am delighted with your success!
    I’ll be in touch again soon.

  • Theresa, it is always wonderful to get your newsletter it is such an encouragement! I am still harvesting carrots that I let winter over in the garden. I think they actually benefited from the cold and have even more flavor and deep orange color. Also still eating bannana squash which keeps well, and they are so big I always get to share with others. I did plant some lettuce and spinach late in the fall with small results. Harvested the lettuce and pick some leaves off the spinach for soup or stew additions. Now lettuce is starting to come up and more spinach, it will have to hurry as it gets hot fast here in California. Planted green peas which are now sprouting and started a few vegetables indoors, which is rather time consuming, but will help get a jump on some vegetables like tomatoes. This year because of you I am trying some vegetables I have never planted before, eggplant, okra, Chinese cabbage, and parsnips. I have a neighbor that always grows eggplant and okra but I have not tried growing them previously.

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