This is the time of year when gardens are abundant with the results of your springtime effort.Tomatoes are red and juicy, green beans are crisp and ready to eat and zucchini is taking over the world. But as everything else is in it’s harvesting glory, don’t forget that in many planting zones there is still time to plant more! Dave’s Garden has a great little tool for looking up frost dates by zip code. So find out if you can still make the most of those empty garden spaces that appear as many plants are just ending.
They may not be a staple but are certainly a delightful addition to salads, sandwiches and tacos. And how about adding them to your grill with that steak? Or throw in few in next time you roast potatoes. Epicurious even has a blog post called 9 Ways to Eat Radishes! If you plant them now you can be eating them in 30 days.
Because a fresh homegrown salad is always good! Even if your spring planted lettuce didn’t do too well, give it another try. Lettuce loves cooler weather, so Fall is the perfect time to plant the makings for your next salad. Loose-leaf types are usually the fastest growing – 45-50 days to maturity, but you can cut leaves off as soon as you need them. Try a variety of colors!
Fresh, tender/crisp spinach is a treat when you can just go out and cut what you want. It’s not only a great addition to salads, but can be added to so many things. Add it to scrambled eggs, omelettes, lasagna, soups, or my favorite – sauteed in butter with crumbled hard-boiled egg on top! Spinach is a lot like lettuce in that it loves cooler weather with growing period of about 45-50 days.
If you have never tried it, this might be the year to do it. Arugula is a spicy/nutty flavored green that is in the same family as kale and cauliflower. It is loaded with nutritional benefits and is a tasty addition to many dishes. It’s not just for salad though. Try it on pizza, in soup, or with pasta. Arugula pesto is amazing! For more details “Kitchn” has a post Top Five Uses for Arugula Besides Salad. The baby greens can be picked for salads in as little as three weeks. Mature leaves for cooking in about 35 days.
This humble root vegetable is often overlooked by gardeners and chefs for no good reason. It isn’t fancy but is very versatile in the kitchen and easy to grow. Turnips can be used just like a potato in soups, sautes, roasted, even fried as chips. But the great thing about the turnip is that the cooked greens are edible and are packed with nutrition! One Green Planet has a great post called Cooking Greens so They Taste Real Delicious. Turnips take only about 35-40 days to maturity, with the small early ones being especially tender. (If you leave them in the ground too long they tend to get woody).
So don’t give up on your planting just yet! There’s more deliciousness just waiting to happen!
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