New in the Nursery: Fresh Greens
There’s nothing we love more than veggies fresh from the garden. It just so happens that now is the perfect time for planting lettuce, broccoli, and other cold-hardy greens for a season of crisp salads and refreshing dishes. Read on to learn more about some of the latest nursery arrivals that have us itching to go outside and harvest before heading into the kitchen.
Salanova Lettuce (Red Incised): Ruffled Salanova Lettuce brings texture and color to the garden with leaves that fade from burgundy to green. This variety adds great flavor and extra loft to salads. It can even be grown indoors in a container!
Pak Choi: Technically a cabbage hailing from China, Pak Choi (also known as Bok Choy) grows in short, chunky stalks with dark green, fan-like leaves. When harvested early in its growth cycle it can be incorporated into raw salads, but it is best enjoyed cooked—we love it in a stir fry!
Swiss Chard: Rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, this healthy variety shows off bright red veins and stalks surrounded by leafy, green heads. Touted as one of the world’s most nutritious veggies, it’s incredibly popular in the Mediterranean, where it is often cooked and tossed in olive oil with penne pasta, lemon juice, and fresh garlic.
Mustard Greens: When consumed, mustard greens have the ability to lower cholesterol and protect against cancer. We recommend sautéing them in a vegetable or chicken broth to get maximum flavor with minimum softening, or tossing them in Mediterranean dressing and topping with your favorite seasonal salad ingredients.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a hardy vegetable that grows well during the cooler seasons, providing the best crop in spring and fall. Full sun, regular water, and nutrient-rich soil allow your broccoli to thrive. It loves organic mulch and compost too! When you see a flower head start to grow in the center of the plant, you’ll know you’re getting close to harvest time; cut the stalk when the buds are still tightly closed. After the harvest, leave the rest of the plant in place to grow bite-sized offshoots.
Cauliflower: Similar to broccoli, cauliflower grows best in cooler climates, but tends to be more temperamental than its green counterpart. It requires consistent weather (in the 60’s), a steady supply of water, and lots of nutrients. When cauliflower heads are about 2 inches wide, you may need to secure the leaves over the head to ensure a tender, white harvest.
Brussels Sprouts: Ideal for growth in the Pacific Northwest, these popular veggies can certainly thrive in any part of the country if cared for properly. Brussels sprouts grow along a tall, slow growing stalk. The sprouts are ready to harvest when the heads are firm, green, and about 1-2 inches in diameter. They can be prone to insect attacks, so be sure to take preventative measures once planted. Brussels sprouts require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight, and well-draining soil that is rich with organic matter.
Throughout the season, our plant team highlights their freshest additions to the garden with New in the Nursery. Check in at your local store to take home these newly-arrived greens.