Lettuce leads the way among garden-grown greens and few vegetables are as easy to grow in the cool weather of spring and fall. Instead of trying to grow hard-headed iceberg types, fill your garden with the unusual colors and leaf textures found in loose-head selections, often called leaf lettuce. Stiff-ribbed Romaine lettuces are not difficult to grow either, though they do take longer to mature than leafier types. Any type of lettuce can be pulled when young and served as "baby" greens in salads.
Many of the plants best known as cooking greens include mustard, chard, turnips, spinach, and Asian specialties like mizuna. These add zip to salads provided they are picked when the leaves are young and tender. They can be cooked at any age.
Regardless of their species and use, all leafy vegetables have a common need for water. Dry soil stops new growth and can stress the plants sufficiently to ruin their flavor and force them into flower.
|Any type of lettuce can be pulled when young and served as "baby" greens in salads.