Please list your favorite non-bitter geens!! Thanks!!

sherilou_2010(8)June 7, 2010

I'm trying to get inspired for my fall garden and next year's garden as well. I like the Swiss Chards and beet greens, but they're NOT my favorites due to their rather strong "earthy flavors". I enjoy young Black Palm/Tuscano Kale the most because they are mild (for a kale)and delicious when lightly cooked. Please inspire me by listing your favorite non-bitter greens and why they are your favorites. Thank you for your time!

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Red Russian kale - hardy, very tender and tastes as if it has already had butter added. Purple sprouting broccolli - as good as asparagus imo.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:31PM
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DrHorticulture_(Z3 Central Saskatchewan)

Bok choy. Grows fast, can be crowded (less weed competition!), tolerates mild frost, tastes mildly sweet and mustardy. Very good for fall crop. Less good for spring as it tends to bolt with the long days. Even in icy zone 3, I can squeeze in a bok choy crop in spring before my main crop.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Excellent! has anyone tried Spigariello Liscia? Is it bitter?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 5:39PM
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I'm growing swiss chard and lacinto kale right now. Also different varieties of lettuce, gai lan (chinese broccoli), baby bok choy and spinach.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 5:51PM
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I second lacinto kale and bok choy. You could also try 'perpetual spinach', which is actually a variety of silverbeet (chard) but which doesn't have that strong earthy chard flavour. It's more mild, more like real spinach - which is also another good fall/winter green. Both are nice wilted with garlic, olive oil and a dash of dry sherry.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 6:38PM
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flora_uk... do you eat the greens as well as the crowns from the Purple Sprouting Broccoli? Thank you!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 8:42AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Only the small leaves on the new shoots which appear in the spring. The others are too tough - not surprising since they are on the plants all winter.

Which reminds me. Brussels sprout tops are also great. That's the cluster of leaves at the growing tip of the plant. Some people take them off anyway to encourage the sprouts. They have a mild taste of their own, not much like the sprouts themselves.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 9:45AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I second the motion for Red Russian Kale. It's delicious.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:43AM
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Vitamin Green was the winner in my garden this year. Red Russian Kale came in second, but I greatly prefer the Vitamin Green. It's mild, yet flavorful. When cooked, it's not "mustardy" nor is it overly "earthy" like Swiss Chard and some spinach varieties. It thrives in our 100 degree heat. I ordered my seeds from Daybreak Gardens on ebay and their germination rate was the fastest and highest of all my seeds this year. Johnny's Selected Seeds also offers Vitamin Green seeds for sale. I do not like this green raw, but the flavor completely changes when it is lightly stir-fried. Yummy!! :)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 9:46AM
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I'm testing out different varieties of choi sum. I can only buy fresh choi sum at an Asian grocery. I think it is sweeter than chard. I got one packet of seeds from Johnny's but they aren't really identified as choi sum (and I don't recall the name) but I bought several varieties from Agrohaitai in Canada.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Nice thread, and perfect timing!

defrost49, did you try Evergreen Seeds? There are 3 varieties listed as choy sum. I think choy sum is same as choi sum.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 8:20PM
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solidago1(6 / Oregon)

Collards, hands down. Next favs are turnip and mustard greens cooked together.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 10:10PM
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A teaspoon or two of vinegar or lemon juice will neutralize the earthy flavor in beets and chard. Otherwise I vote for Pock Choi

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 3:11AM
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pippimac(New Zealand)

A bit ot, but I'll always find a way to push broad beans, otherwise known as fava beans.
Probably too early to plant, but the tops, whole small pods and shelled (not ancient) beans are all delicious.
They fix nitrogen,the plants are an awesome carbon crop, they grow all through winter in my temperate climate and produce in 'the hungry gap' when my relationship with the chard and brassica families is getting a bit strained...

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 7:56AM
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Swiss Chard and Mustard greens grown in our winter season. sweet and tender. I do remember my grandmother frying bacon and onions then adding greens to the pan and adding some vinegar and salt for a "fried mess of greens. Yes tender beets with thier tops when thinning with their tops and using the same method of cooking.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2010 at 5:15PM
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guavalane: no I didn't try Evergreen. I thought Agrohaitai had the most varieties of things I wanted to try and the shipping was very reasonable and quick. (Canada to US) The packets are very small so they are good for experimenting.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 2:18PM
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Mizuna is my favorite.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 5:50PM
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Arugula isn't bitter at all when grown in cool weather. Corn salad or mache is another great winter substitute for lettuce.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2010 at 7:52PM
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instar8(Z 5 N.IN)

Spigariello is kinda bitter, especially in hot weather, but it has a...i don't know...richness? that offsets it. "My" rabbits love it, they defoliate it and leave the other broccs and cauliflowers, etc.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 12:35PM
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The groundcover type of violet sold in the nursery. It might be viola sororia, might be viola odorata. It is not viola labradorica.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 4:22PM
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Spigariello Liscia (great texture and mild broccoli flavor) has now taken 1st place in my garden!! Vitamin Green is 2nd with Red Russian Kale taking 3rd. I do not eat them raw. All three taste completely different when lightly cooked... delicious! Spigariello Liscia is the slowest-growing of the three, but worth the wait. I'm now waiting for my Portuguese Cabbage... it may beat all three!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2010 at 7:31PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

I prefer the "baby greens", spinach, lettuce, whatever so long as they are tiny.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2010 at 1:57PM
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I've been thinking now and then about this thread for the last few days. I grow quite a few greens each year and am often trying something new, altho' I have my favorites.

Sherilou, you may be even more oriented this way than I am and I'm going to be looking for this Spigariello Liscia and maybe the Portuguese Cabbage next year (if you have a favorable report on that one).

It doesn't seem too esoteric to mention several that have only 1 or 2 seed sources. I've grown them for a few years.

An Asian green than can be a salad ingredient if you like is Maruba Santoh. It is supposed to be an open-head Chinese cabbage but has leaves more like bok choy or an Asian mustard -- but mild.

Senposai is a hybrid of cabbage and Komatsuna. This is a very tender green when cooked and, if you give it plenty of room and have favorable weather it doesn't bolt to seed right away and grows quite large, well into summer. After broccoli is just a memory, you can enjoy the flower stalks of Senposai but it is also wonderfully tender and flavorful as a young green.

Finally, I like bok choy and have grown it for about the last 20 years. The green stem Shanghai-type, Mei Qing Choi has long been a favorite. Lulan baby bok choy was something new this year and I was very pleased how tender this variety was. More seed has just gone in the ground and I'm really looking forward to having more of Lulan choy to enjoy again in the fall.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2010 at 11:55PM
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I have had so much fun trying different greens this year! It's been equally fun reading this thread and learning about greens grown by seasoned gardeners.

Steve... I now will have to try all three varieties that you mentioned! Bok choy is a big winner in this thread and it's nice to know that Mei Qing Choi is Steve's long-time favorite. This variety also received favorable reviews elsewhere on the web.

In all my research, I had never heard of Maruba Santoh or Senposai. I looked them-up and they sound perfect for my garden... THANK YOU!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 7:47AM
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