What all green leafy veggies you guys sow successfully? Do you winter sow them or direct in the ground?
Anything really !! I've done kale ,spinach , lettuce all very successfully. Swiss chard, parsley and of course basil,all do well also. It's all about timing on transplanting them in the Spring but you will learn by trying. Weather is a big factor so it is hard to give a time frame on when things will be ready but I would definitely plant the cold crops now !!
Pretty much the same as Lily, but I wait until end of Feb, beginning of March because they will sprout in cold weather.
Just about everything, but I wait until mid-Feb to start.
So you start it in end of February, beginning of March, when do you put 'em in ground? I'm in zone 5 just to give you reference.
I've ws'd Lacinato kale twice - the first year I winter-sowed them in January and those never sprouted. The 2nd time I sowed the container in March, and they sprouted! Same seeds. Not sure why the very early ones never sprouted, maybe the seeds rotted?
I did Swiss chard last year, but direct sowed them in the ground. That works well too.
I do most of my leafy veggies now into Feb.
BTW, anyone know why kale seeds aren't available at Lowe's or other common outlets? Is it just not popular enough? I have swiss chard, but the year I direct sowed it got crowded out by weeds (I'd never grown it and couldn't identify the seedlings vs. the weeds.) Is Swiss Chard similar in taste to kale?
I think the opposite, that Kale has become very popular. I found bulk seed at an Ag-Way in Delaware. Also saw seed at Mostardi's garden center in Newtown Square, PA. They had several varieties.
caryltoo - chard tastes more like spinach than kale.
Is it easier to direct sow these leafy veggies as I heard they are very delicate and don't like transplanting.
All brassicas ie kale, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. transplant very easily and successfully. I would definitely not call them delicate. They can be planted deeper than they were in the seedling containers and they will grow additional roots on the stems which anchor them firmly - very important in windy areas or where they will be expected to stand all through the following winter. They can be started in containers or in a nursery bed out in the open.
Chard can be transplanted but is best done when very small as it has a tendency to bolt.
Thanks, Flora. I'll continue to look for Kale then since I like the taste. I'll also look forward to the swiss chard I just ws since I like spinach as well.
Jaggudada, I've never had a problem transplanting broccoli or cabbage. Getting it to head before the weather gets too warm is another issue, and I'll probably be trying it as a fall crop this year as well as giving it another go this spring.
You shouldn't have any trouble finding kale seed at farm and feed type stores. The selection of seeds at our local Agway is excellent as is Blue Seal feed. The Agway is a larger store and gets seeds from several different suppliers. Right now I am growing lancinato and Russian red. The plants and leaves are quite different but both are very cold hardy. I picked lancinato yesterday here in NH.
Now that I've learned you can keep harvesting certain veggies through the winter rather than get an early start (sorry winter sowers) I go for fall plantings that will winter over. Spinach seems to be resting under the layer of straw I put down but I can harvest some leaves. Last winter without a decent snow cover and no straw cover, it just went dormant and when it started warming up, the spinach took off and we had very early spinach. Since I sowed directly, there was no transplanting needed.
Kale has more of a cabbage taste. Chard is more like beet greens or spinach. The flavor of chard, beet greens and spinach all change when the weather gets cold and they sweeten up. One time I read that spinach is day length sensitive and needs to be planted as early as possible. Ever since I started planting it early, I've gotten a very good crop. Then I plant a fall/winter crop in August.
Thanks for the info, defrost. I've never had much luck with spinach -- it grows, but it seems like I'd need to plant way too much of it to get enough to use. If it likes an early start it sounds like ws would be perfect for it. I've only ever direct sowed it, and that means it went in later than it probably liked.
I want to WS Swiss Chard bright lights, but strictly as an ornamental. Am I reading this right, I should sow it now? Zone 6
My swiss chard is already out in its jug, so yes, now is fine to ws it.
Is there any advantage to winter sowing chard? It can be sown in situ in March anyway and transplanting it increases the chances of its bolting.
Can I ask jvdubb why they are not going to eat their chard? Bright Lights is just as delicious as any other chard. Seems a bit of a waste to me ;-) You don't have to pull the whole plant, just take off the outer leaves over a long period.
Flora, ws allows me to identify the seedlings and be able to tell them from weeds. I've tried to grow it before by ds and couldn't tell the chard sprouts from the weed sprouts around them.
Maybe I'll ds a row too so it doesn't bolt, assuming the march weather cooperates -- sometimes the ground is just a soggy mess then to the point that getting the peas in on time is a problem.
Oh, and I plan on eating my chard -- I'd like the bright lights, they sound really pretty -- but since I already have run-of-the-mill chard why buy new seeds. Maybe next year.
Ive never had any issues transplanting any green leaf from winter to the garden..
Ive done tons of varieties of spinich and lettuce, as well as spring onions as well.. In fact for the most part becuase spring is usually rainy here, its pretty darn easy, spinich can be planted in pretty cold weather, as well as peas, but I just direct sow the peas, you can sow them, but the time that is easy to transplant them is pretty narrow..
BTW Ive done the whole not getting around to planting the lettuce and just harvested them from my milk jugs =)
Flora uk, i just don't like the taste of chard :-)
caryltto - you're going to hate me, but I can definitely tell chard from weeds and by using a hoe up and down the rows there are hardly any weeds anyway. Chard also self sows with abandon.
Can I ask you how you avoid bolting with transplants?
Flora, I've only planted chard once and that was direct sowed, so I haven't yet avoided bolting :) I'm going to take your advice and direct sow a row so when my transplants take off I'll still have some. Actually, I'm thinking of a mid-summer planting for fall because it gets so hot and humid here in August and July (and even June in recent years) so some things like broccoli and cabbage will be happier going into the fall.
What's a hoe? lol My seeds went into a perfectly cleared patch, but the first time I plant anything I have trouble telling it from the weeds, which seem to germinate faster than anything but maybe cucumbers.
Carly, for Lactino Kale (Dino Kale), Annie's Heirloom and Johnny's seeds sell them. Baker's Creek sale Siberian and other smaller upright varieties of kale. Check out their sites.
Thanks, Ladyrose, but I found kale at the local agway. It's one of those "common" seeds and I didn't want to pay shipping for it and the sites I ordered my tomatoes and flower seeds from didn't have it.
Caryl (like Daryl, not Carly :)