Leafy vegetables are packed with fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. They can be used raw in salads or green smoothies as well as wilted in a hot pan of oil. Different mixtures of greens deliver different flavors and textures so try several until you find one that you like. The baby leaves of bok choy are mild while some of the mixes containing mustard can be spicy.
Lettuce, Kale, Chard, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens and many Asian Greens like Bok Choy can be harvested in the baby leaf stage when they are about 5 to 6 inches tall. These types of greens grow best in the Spring and again in the Fall. They don’t grow very much in the middle of winter but will survive some cold especially if covered on very cold nights. I have harvested Spinach and Kale through the winter with a little protection.
Most of these greens only take about 4 weeks from seed to harvest at the baby leaf stage. You can sow them in rows 2 or 3 seeds per inch and 2 to 3 inches between the rows. I like to cover my seed with vermiculite because it holds moisture around the seed while they germinate. You can also cover with a lightweight cloth or newspaper to help hold the moisture. Plant in moist soil and be sure to check the soil every day while they are germinating so that they will not dry out. After you see the first sign of green starting to show remove the cloth or newspaper or your seedling will stretch from not having enough light. Germination takes about a week or less and your greens will be ready to harvest when they are about 5 to 6 inches tall. Total time from seed to harvest is around four weeks. Greens don’t need a lot of fertilizer but will definitely benefit from compost or an organic fertilizer added just before you sow the seed. After germination you can water every two to three days depending on the weather. You want the soil to be moist but not soggy wet. Harvest your baby greens with scissors leaving about an inch of the plant to regrow. Depending on what you are growing and the weather you will be able to harvest 3 or more times from one sowing.
Click Here for a link to High Mowing seed where you can buy baby leaf green mixtures.
Click Here for a link to Johnny’s seed where you can buy baby leaf green mixtures.
In this video I am sowing lettuce at only one seed per inch but using the same method you can sow your baby greens thicker.