Fresh, juicy, and unique summer Salad vegetables have long been a trendy vegetable not only for people worldwide. The vibrant green color allows you to experiment with ingredients that enrich your daily menu while reducing its calorie content and is not only suitable for garnishing dishes as a source of vitamins and minerals. In addition, these annuals are very easy to grow and impress with their diverse flavors and decorative properties.
THE UNIQUE COMPOSITION OF SALAD VEGETABLES
The value of Salad vegetables is not only that they are one of the lowest-calorie vegetables (only 16 kcal per 100g net leaf weight). In addition, it is free of heavy fats and carbohydrates – definitely a key feature of the composition of your favorite greens.
Salad vegetables are an easily digestible source of fiber, protein, and organic acids, including folic acid. But their main “trump” element, which is made up of vitamins and minerals, includes all the B vitamins, beta-carotene, choline, vitamins A, PP, H, E, C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, selenium, iodine, sulfur, cobalt and dozens of other elements.
SALAD BENEFITS AND CULINARY FLAIR
Salads are not only an indispensable component of a healthy diet but also a source of nutrients. They allow you to balance your diet, improve the digestibility of protein foods, effectively build a diet for various diseases, lose weight, and are indispensable for the diet of athletes.
All Salad has beneficial effects on vision, and the gastrointestinal tract helps regulate the salt balance and stabilizes the normal functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Thanks to the unique composition of Salad improves blood, significantly increasing the number of red blood cells, increasing lactation, eliminating toxins, lowering cholesterol, and promoting healthy sleep.
Active consumption of Salad also helps to maintain health and beauty. For example, salad vegetable juice strengthens hair and prevents hair loss, and when used in beauty treatments – masks, complexes, lotions. It keeps the skin smooth, moisturized, and conditioned.
Spicy Salad contains mustard oil, which is noted for its antiseptic properties. They lower blood pressure, have a mild diuretic effect and strengthen the immune system.
With all this, Salad vegetables are extra delicious! Only spicy and pungent Salad is used heat-treated or condiment, but eating fresh Salad vegetables opens up endless possibilities. It opens up vast horizons for the culinary imagination – by changing the dressings, oils, and additives, you can enrich your menu endlessly with new variations, creating surprisingly light and deliciously fresh Salad vegetables, joining the trend of haute cuisine that no salad is impossible.
Adding a few leaves to your favorite dishes will help make your diet healthier and more balanced. Especially since all salads go well together, not only with each other but with other food. From meat and fish to seafood, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and more.
THE DECORATIVE FLAIR OF SALAD VEGETABLES
Salad vegetables are a veritable garnish in any vegetable garden. Not only can they be grown in individual beds, but they can also be used as companion plants. They are a must for mixed designs, decorative vegetable gardens, and flower beds – beds that mix vegetable plants and greens with ornamental species. But this is not the only way to use salad plants in garden design.
- Create unique beds and labyrinths in which rows of lettuce form patterns, spirals, and ornaments.
- Grow early spring and fall as temporary fillers for borders, dividing plants, and gaps.
- Introduced into flower beds and mixed beds as a source of bright green plants in the most outlandish colors.
Lettuce in pots and containers is great on patios, balconies, and even windowsills! So fresh and colorful, they keep your favorite greens close at hand for endless hours of gorgeous foliage.
So here’s a list of Salad vegetable varieties you can grow in your garden.
Soft, loosely rosette leaves characterize this Lettuce. Lettuce leaves are either solid, divided, or even pinnate. They have a flat or patterned, ruffled margin combined with the most diverse colors – from light green to pale yellow, pale blue, fuchsia, brown, and speckled. They are also characterized by a bland flavor, very delicate, a tendency to warp, and wilt quickly after harvest.
Lettuce in cooking
This is one of the most delicate types of lettuce, which is not cut but carefully torn and consumed only fresh. It is mainly used mixed with bitter and peppery salads, in cold dishes, with butter or sour cream dressings. A versatile source of vegetables for culinary experiments.
Lettuce sowing time
The first sowing was done in early April under a film or greenhouse, and the last was in August.
Lettuce grown in greenhouses is sown from March in unheated greenhouses and year-round, including winter, in warm greenhouses. The agronomy of outdoor and greenhouse lettuce is similar.
Lettuce for foliage is hardy. They need a sunny spot and will not settle for even semi-shade. lettuce should be planted in loose, light, nutritious soil. A little sand is welcome. Lettuce should not be planted in acidic soil. It should only grow in neutral or slightly alkaline soil.
Sowing Lettuce into the soil
Lettuce seeds are sown in beds spaced approximately 8-14 inches (20-35 cm) apart in rows. The maximum depth of the seeds should not exceed 0.6 inches (1.5 cm). Germination will occur in about 2 weeks or a little later in cooler conditions. For all Lettuce, it is recommended to use a spindle or any other covering the seeds at an early stage to accelerate germination. The crop should be thinned at the second or third true leaf stage and can grow thickly if the leaves are continually harvested for food.
Care of lettuce
Starting from the second week, the sprouts need to be weeded and loosened as frequently as possible. Repeat loosening during thinning and when soil crusts form. Water at the slightest drought, taking care not to soil the Lettuce. To retain moisture and keep the crop clean, it is best to cover it with mulch.
Harvesting and storing Lettuce
The first crop is harvested during the thinning of the lettuce. Subsequent harvests are done by selectively cutting off leaves as needed or removing the entire plant at 25-35 days of age.
All Salad vegetables that do not just grow as rosettes of leaves and form heads of varying density are called Cabbages (sometimes the looser ones in this type of salad are counted as semi-Cabbages, but there is no significant difference between them). Cabbages are characterized by their buttery, crunchy green color. Although the leaves are dense, they have a delicate flavor like Salad vegetables.
Using Cabbages in cooking
Cabbages are used only fresh, gently torn by hand. They are used in the same way as Salad vegetables. They are paired with other greens and vegetables and with meat and meat delicacies.
Sowing time for Cabbages
To obtain a harvest at least no later than June, it is necessary to plant these Cabbages by the seedling method since the seedlings should have reached 30-35 days of age before the moment when they may be planted in the soil of the middle zone. When planting by the germination method, the first sowings are made at the beginning of March. Further batches depend on the desired harvest date, given that it takes about one month after planting in the soil and one month during the germination stage, respectively.
In early spring or early summer, Cabbages seeds are sown (covered with leaves or other mulch) in open spaces during winter. It is recommended that early cultivars be planted from early April to May and late cultivars from late April to mid-July.
Cabbages can be sown in greenhouses starting in March but can only be grown in this manner at cooler temperatures not exceeding 64 °F (18 °C).
Required conditions for Cabbages
For Cabbages, light and very fertile loess and sandy soils are required. They form large shoots only in bright light. It prefers cool temperatures, up to 68 °F (20 °C).
Sowing Cabbages seedlings into the soil
Water the soil well before sowing. Spread the seeds in rows to a depth of 1 inch (2.5 cm), sparingly. The plants were diluted to a distance of 4 inches (10 cm) after the emergence of one complete leaf and 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) after 4 leaves.
Germination of Cabbages
Cabbages are sown in small pots with only a few seeds per pot. When the plants grow and produce their first leaves, the strongest specimens should be left, and the rest should be pulled out. You can also grow them in the classic dense planting method, but the less damage to the root ball, the better. Seedlings should be kept as cool as possible and the soil as moist as possible when raising them.
Cabbages seedlings can be placed in the ground when they are 25 days old and already have 4-5 true leaves from April onwards. Planting distances should be 8 inches (20 cm) for early cultivars and 10-12 inches (25-30 cm) for medium and late cultivars.
It is very important to pay close attention to the root neck, which should not be submerged in the soil. For early plantings, it is best to cover the seedlings with at least fleece. For Cabbages, it is better to use mulch or to plant the seedlings on agricultural foam.
Care of Cabbages
Cabbages need regular watering to keep the soil moist. It is very important to water between the plants, not under the roots. For Cabbages growing in soil not well-nourished, feeding should be done 2-3 weeks after moving the seedlings into the soil or thinning them without fertilization or before planting. Loosening and weeding operations should be carried out at least twice during the cultivation of Cabbages.
Harvesting and storing Cabbages
Harvest Cabbages with maturity and variety in mind: the heads should be shaped at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) in diameter. Cut the head with a sharp knife with a stem about 0.4 inches (1 cm) long, without removing any large pieces of foliage (except for yellowed leaves).
Cabbages can be stored for 1.5 months at low temperatures only – the closer to 32 °F (0°C), the better, but only if you have picked large mature Cabbages buds. The usual storage time is up to 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
These plants are heat-loving and germinate at temperatures above 62 °F (17 °C) and are grown by the nursery for early harvest.
The legendary Romaine lettuce, or cos lettuce, is easily recognizable by the shape of its slender head and its distinctive flavor. Romaine lettuce has rightfully earned its status as a separate variety, despite its status as a cabbage salad. Its slender, erect, almost smooth, egg-shaped leaves form large, loose shoots up to 15 inches (40 cm) tall and weigh 250 grams.
Using Romaine lettuce in cooking
Romaine lettuce is not only used in the legendary Caesar salad. It is perfect for sandwiches and burgers, for all appetizers, and salads with fermented dressings.
Romaine lettuce sowing time
Romaine lettuce is mainly cultivated as fall lettuce under normal zone conditions, sown in late July, but it can also be planted for harvest in summer (seeds are sown in early to mid-spring, immediately after the soil warms up). The optimum temperature for germination is 39-41 °F (4-5 °C), but this temperature is not available for pre-fall sowing and is compensated by the cooler growing period. For spring harvest, seeds should be sown in early March.
Necessary conditions for C. Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce prefers loose, light, nutrient-rich soil and strong light.
Sowing Romaine lettuce into the soil
Romaine lettuce seeds should be placed 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) deep and spread sparsely. Thin after putting out a few true leaves, leaving one plant at 4 inches (10 cm) at first and at 10 inches (25 cm) as the plant grows.
Growing Romaine lettuce through sprouts
The seeds were soaked until they nucleated. They were sown in peat or paper pots in March and maintained under normal conditions with regular watering. At 30-40 days of age, they are transferred to the ground, hardened, and planted at 10 inches (25 cm) intervals.
Care of Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce care boils down to maintaining soil moisture during drought, loosening the soil between plants and between rows (the procedure is sufficient to repeat 2-3 times), and the necessity to remove weeds. If retarded growth and poor budding formation are observed, it is acceptable to fertilize the plants with a compound fertilizer.
Harvesting and storage of Romaine lettuce
The average time for harvesting Romaine lettuce is 30-35 days after sowing and 65-85 days after sowing. The first crop is harvested after thinning, followed by partial cuttings after maturity.
Romaine lettuce belongs to the best lettuces for winter storage, which surprisingly does not lose all its characteristics and flavor profile for a long time. Romaine lettuce is best preserved by digging it out with the roots and placing it in a box or container, cover it with dense opaque material and keep it at a low temperature of about 33-35 °F (1-2°C). Fall Romaine lettuce crops can be preserved in this way until January. However, even during the rest of the year, if it is not carried with the rhizome, Romaine lettuce can be stored for a surprisingly long time – about a month.
The green color of Arugula resembles the leaves of the dandelion, although this similarity concerns only the outline. Quite dense, at maturity, the flavor of even the coarsely carved Arugula leaves is quite inimitable. Spicy, peppery, and nutty, it combines bright nuttiness with a searing, bitter aftertaste. Spicy and intense, Arugula matures very quickly, and it only shows its full value when young, but don’t throw away the older leaves.
Arugula in cooking
Arugula is an irreplaceable component of Mediterranean cooking. Mature Arugula can be cooked and used as a condiment in hot dishes from pasta to risotto. The young leaves can be used with cheese, tomatoes and other vegetables, pasta and meat, and sauces and dressings.
Sowing time of Arugula
Arugula yields the largest rosettes and juiciest leaves when sown late in the season, and the most delicious harvest is always in the fall after sowing in August. For an early harvest, seeds should be sown in early April. Sow Arugula every 10-14 days and interrupt the sowing during the hottest periods, as Arugula germinates quickly under these conditions.
Conditions necessary for Arugula
Arugula can be grown in any soil type, but preferably in neutral or slightly acidic, lightly textured fertile soil. It needs good light, and sowing in summer is best done in semi-mountainous areas. Temperatures around 64 °F (18°C) are considered optimal for Arugula.
Specifics of growing Arugula
Arugula can be grown both indoors and in a greenhouse. Arugula is sown in rows about 12 inches (30 cm) apart. Arugula seeds should not be planted too deep, only 0.4-0.6 inches (1-1.5 cm) into the soil. Germination is very fast, preferably within 6 days, and you don’t have to wait long for the first harvest – 10-14 days. When the first true leaves appear, you will need to thin the plants, leaving 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) between plants.
Care of arugula
The amount of water available to Arugula has a direct effect on the flavor of the leaves. The leaves are juicier and softer by watering frequently and maintaining soil moisture, and the bitterness is less intense. Arugula likes to be sprinkled and sprayed, and thankfully, it responds to timely weeding and relaxed row spacing. Arugula can be mulched with mulch to retain moisture and reduce the temperature of the roots.
Harvesting and storage
Rucola is selectively harvested from the 10th day of planting or harvested whole at full maturity (25 to 35 days). It should be harvested before the flowering stems are released.
Arugula can be stored for a few days and will soon turn yellow. It is best to wrap the harvest in cling film or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator.
The highly decorative and very small Garden cress does not deserve its botanical name, “Cress (Lepidium sativum).” The small leaves of this lettuce look great as a dish garnish, but it is first known for the wonderfully pungent “mustard” flavor of its small, beautiful leaves. It is fast-growing, perishable, brightly colored, and flavorful, with a flavor profile that rivals even the intensity of Arugula salad.
Using Garden cress in cooking
Garden cress is used fresh only. It can be used as a condiment with fresh vegetables and sauces, appetizers, omelets, fish, and meat.
When to sow garden cress
The first sowing of the Garden cress should be done at the end of March. Garden cress is best sown consecutively so that plantings are replaced every 7-10 days. In summer, it is better to take a break: in typical summer conditions in the middle belt, this Garden cress blooms quickly and does not like long periods of sunlight and high temperatures. Therefore, optimal conditions – germination at about 42-46 °F (6-8°C) and growth at 50-59 °F (10-15°C) – is achieved by sowing seeds in spring and September.
A very nutrient-rich, light soil is essential for Garden cress. This type of lettuce does not like bright sunlight, and the tastiest vegetables are found in semi-mountainous areas (only the earliest sowings in March are made in a raised bed in full sun). This plant is considered to be one of the hardiest lettuces.
Growing Garden cress
It is best to start preparing beds for Garden cress in the fall. The first sowing of the Garden cress takes place in early spring after the soil has warmed up. The seeds are buried in the soil up to 0.4 inches (1 cm). Germination appears very quickly, in a few days. The first sowing in March is best covered with a film or film tunnel. After the appearance of the third true leaf, the fragile crop should always be thinned, leaving only one plant at a distance of 4 inches (10 cm).
Care of Garden cress
Since Garden cress is very low and grows in loose rosettes, it is best to cover the soil with mulch to keep the leaves clean. Garden cress needs regular watering as lack of moisture immediately affects the flavor of the leaves. Garden cress just likes to be sprayed daily, which produces juicier, more tender vegetables. It is best to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers.
Harvesting and storing Garden cress
This fast-maturing Garden cress reaches technical maturity in 2-3 weeks after sowing (its seeds mature in two months). Even the remaining plants, after thinning, can be eaten. Garden cress can be harvested as soon as it reaches a height of 4 inches (10 cm).
Fresh Garden cress is one of the most perishable salad creams: fresh Garden cress can be kept for one day, after which the leaves will lighten and lose their flavor due to loss of chlorophyll. Even in the refrigerator, when the leaves are moistened, it only lasts 2-3 days.
Valerianella locusta, also known as lamb’s lettuce, corn salad, common cornsalad, mâche, fetticus, feldsalat, nut lettuce, field salad, is a miniature plant consisting of round, teardrop-shaped, surface small, sparse rosettes of glossy, dark-colored leaves. It is one of the most delicate and lightest lettuces, with an attractive nutty aroma and pungent acidity.
Using Valerianella locusta in cooking
Valerianella locusta is delicious on its own with any seasoning, but it is also suitable with complex dishes. It is suitable for vegetables, poultry, and smoked meats.
Time to grow Valerianella locusta
Seeds are sown in winter or from mid-April (or even earlier, weather permitting) to the end of August, and seedlings from March.
Conditions necessary for Valerianella locusta
Valerianella locusta requires good light and well-drained soil, is not tolerant of standing water, does not require high soil fertility, and will grow successfully in almost any garden soil. Valerianella locusta can survive frosts as low as 5 °F (-15°C), so it can be grown outdoors fairly early.
Sowing Valerianella locusta into the soil
Valerianella locusta can be grown as a biennial. Its best cultivation technique is considered to be pre-winter sowing, done in mid-September. It allows you to get a green crop before mid-spring. Seeds are sown in pre-prepared beds protected over winter by mulch – straw, compost, leaves, non-woven material.
For harvesting in May and summer, sowing in the greenhouse and in the open field is carried out according to the same technique. For Valerianella locusta, intensive sowing with double thinning is recommended first at a distance of 1 inch (2.5 cm), then at an optimal distance of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm)). The sowing depth is about 0.4 inches (1 cm).
Planting Valerianella locusta
Seeds of Valerianella locusta should be sown at the end of March to a depth of no more than 0.2 inches (0.5 cm). Germinate in a warm environment, then at a lower temperature of 53-59 °F (12-15°C) until 2-3 single-picked leaves appear. This is best done immediately in greenhouses and greenhouses with plants about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, not inboxes. Weather permitting, move Valerianella locusta into the ground with a 4-6 inch (10-15 cm) distance between plants starting at the end of April.
Care of Valerianella locusta
Care of Valerianella locusta boils down to loosening the soil and spacing the rows, which should be done every 1.5 weeks, timely removal of weeds, and careful watering that does not get water on the leaves.
Harvesting and storing Valerianella locusta
In Valerianella locusta, partial harvesting of Valerianella locusta can be done from the second week after planting in the soil or from the second thinning of the seedlings. Most Valerianella locusta reaches technical maturity one month to one and a half months after sowing. Harvesting should be done before flowering, as the flower stems are not edible. Valerianella locusta can be stored for up to 3 days after cutting.
Iceberg lettuce looks more like cabbage than a salad green. It forms a dense, compact, light-colored, fairly thick bud of strikingly juicy and crunchy leaves. Iceberg lettuce can weigh more than 2.2 lb (1 kg), though they don’t usually reach their maximum size in the garden. Iceberg lettuce has an almost neutral flavor, but no other salad has such a delicious crunchy texture.
Using Iceberg lettuce in cooking
This is a versatile salad vegetable that can be mixed with other types of salads, harmonizes perfectly with fish, meat, and seafood, and pairs perfectly with sour cream dressings.
Sowing time for Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is grown by sprouting and traditional methods, but the harvest quality of this Iceberg lettuce is lower. Seeds are sown 3 weeks before sowing into the soil (earlier than the beginning of April only when transplanted to greenhouses and trellises) and repeated every 2 weeks in spring and summer if necessary. Sow in the soil only in the spring and before the winter.
Necessary conditions for Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce requires bright light and nutrient-rich, well-drained soil that is not highly acidic and has been well fertilized with mineral fertilizer from fall or a few weeks before planting. Iceberg lettuce prefers chilling temperatures of up to 64 °F (18 °C) at night and does not respond well to daytime temperatures above 30 °C. However, it can tolerate frosts as low as 21 °F (-6°C).
Sowing Iceberg lettuce
Sow the seeds before mid-autumn. Till the soil with any organic and all-mineral fertilizer, dig the soil deeply and place the seeds in the rows. Cover them with soil and protect the bed with dry leaves.
In spring, sow the seeds when the soil is warm and the night temperature does not fall below 21 °F (-6 °C). Sow seeds no deeper than 0.4 inches (1 cm); cover the seedbeds with fleece or plastic sheeting and leave them in place until the temperature stabilizes at 18 °C during the day.
Cultivation through Iceberg lettuce seedlings
Seeds need to be soaked before sowing. Sow a few seeds in small cups or peat pots. Germination should take place in cool conditions – maximum temperature of 64 °F (18°C). Once the first shoots appear, transfer the plants to a warm room, leaving a strong shoot that grows to 3-4 inches (8-10 cm) and then harden. Iceberg lettuce is permanently planted in a greenhouse or vegetable garden at three weeks of age, keeping a 12-15 inch (30-40 cm) between plants.
Care of Iceberg lettuce
It is very important to keep Iceberg lettuce moist and protected from wind blows. This plant needs not only loosening and weeding every 3 weeks, but also a lot of water. During periods of vigorous growth, it should be watered evenly, even without short dry periods.
Watering intensity should be reduced from the head when Iceberg lettuce is highly susceptible to rot.
It is best to water Iceberg lettuce in the late afternoon. Only 2 applications are usually applied on poor soils, namely at planting to improve rooting and at the early stage of Iceberg lettuce formation. But you’d better not use it and take care to prepare the soil in time because Iceberg lettuce tends to accumulate nitrates.
Harvesting and storing Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce should be harvested when the sprouts are ripe, cut them out early in the morning with a sharp knife, and immediately remove a few outer leaves. Store Iceberg lettuce best in cool conditions at 33-35 °F (1-2°C) for an average storage time of about 1 week. If stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in a damp cloth, and placed in a bag, it will keep for up to 3 weeks.