Thursday, March 02, 2017

Corn Salad for Winter Greens

Winter kale in the floating garden reaching for the sun.
Even in the winter months, I like to have some fresh greens to add to our meals. Ones that have been successful for me during our relatively mild winters in Coastal BC are kale, chard, arugula and something called corn salad, also known as lamb’s lettuce and fetticus.

That’s an unusual name for a leafy green. It comes from Europe because it often sprouts in fall in harvested corn fields.

Corn Salad growing in a pot covered with a plastic bag during winter.

I start my corn salad seeds in a deck pot no later than mid-August. That gives them enough time to mature before the cooler, less sunny weather starts to stunt their growth.

It grows in many soil conditions, and is hardy even in winter with a little protection. Each plant makes a small cluster of leaves that can be individually picked, leaving the plant to produce more. Its main enemies are slugs and birds that can be hungry during the colder months.

Corn Salad still growing in February in its own mini-greenhouse.

Before freezing temps begin, I cover the pot with a mesh cage and clear plastic bag. On sunny days, I take the plastic off, but on cold ones and during the night I leave the pot covered for extra protection.

Corn salad has small, bright green crunchy leaves with a mild, slightly sweet flavour. I like to mix it with iceberg lettuce we buy at the store. It gives our salads some extra kick and colour.

Do you grow winter greens? What are some of your successes? -- Margy

References: The Vegetable Expert by Dr. D.G. Hessayon (1985) and All About Vegetables by Ortho Books (1973)

4 comments:

  1. Sounds like a delicious salad. It amazes me to see how well everything grows during the winter in coastal BC.

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    1. Most things are not actually growing, but holding their own. If I can get things well established before the short, cool, cloudy days arrive they can survive with just a little protection. - Margy

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  2. I have never tried Lambs Lettuce (as called here), but I do grow Kale along with purple sprouting broccoli, Jerusalem Artichokes and winter cabbage. Like you, I like my greens xxx

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    1. Glad to see you are back writing posts. Do you still have your allotment? - Margy

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