Winter Garden Crop For Your Home Garden
Though mesclun could be labeled ‘Spring and Summer’ crop, too
One of the easiest vegetable garden crops to grow is Mesclun, a French idea that combines the French genius for eating well with the healthy bonus of adding fresh greens easily into your diet. Easy to grow, and easy to fix, Mesclun is simply a salad mix of an assortment of small, young salad leaves. It is this mix that gives it a much longer season than one crop such as Bibb or Romaine lettuces, although it may include both those plants in the seed mixture.
Lettuce mixes are also easy to grow inside. They do like lots of sun and cool temperatures, but many people use the Aerogarden to provide a harvest of greens.
While price may not be a factor, the idea of freshness, and control of growing and handling conditions might be. It is just one alternative to growing some of your own food.
What Does Your Mesclun Garden Mix Grow?
It could be “dozens of lettuce varieties: from the more traditional iceberg, bib, Boston and butterhead, to the arugula, endive, escarole, rocket, romaine and radicchio. Depending on variety these will come in an array of greens and reds. Leaves will be frilly, rounded, pointed or oak-leaf shaped. In any salad mix you may also find baby spinach, bunches of tiny radishes, cherry tomatoes and perhaps something more unusual like dandelion, chicory or fennel.” –Local Harvest Org.
Theoretically you could create your own mix of greens, but there are so many wonderful and tasty ones available, and they are so economically priced, it doesn’t seem as though you would need to do that.
Lettuce Mesclun Farmer’s Market Blend Seed From Botanical InterestTango 15%, Royal Oak Leaf 15%, Red Salad Bowl 32%, Black Seeded Simpson 15%, Grand Rapids TBR 15%, Red Sails 8%.Emerges in 5-10 days | Plant Seed 1/8″ deep for lots of baby greens
Raised Garden Beds
Raised garden beds are probably the ideal way to grow a small patch of greens. You can provide better soil, locate it near your kitchen door, and it looks nice and neat all through the year. Makes weeding an easy chore, too.
Thoughts on raised garden beds:
Raised Garden Beds
How to grow mesclun?
Just like any lettuce mix, the seeds are sown shallowly in good soil that is fertile and crumbly in texture. Full sun is best, but lettuces will tolerate part-sun and still grow well. Lettuces need moisture, since they
To insure protection from hard frost, a cover could be used, or a cold frame. In fact, it is the ideal crop to start in a cold frame at the time of the first frost.
Lettuces like feeding, and they respond well to added nitrogen which is important for good leafy growth. Some organic fertilizers and amendments to use:
Lettuces and food crops like a pH of 6.0 to 6.7.
Due to the large lettuce component of a mesclun mix, these are cool weather crops and optimum temperature for growth and development would be 60 to 650 F
How Should I Harvest Mesclun?
These are best as “baby greens”. Harvest the tender young plants whole if they are thinnings, otherwise, when the biggest plants reach three to four inches tall. Rotate your harvesting of cuttings around the bed, giving the freshly harvested greens time for a second harvesting. If using a cover or coldframe, harvest when temperatures are above freezing.fun facts
The term “Mesclun” comes from the Nicoise dialect word for a mixture of tender, young salad greens.