How to Grow Lettuce, Kale and Spinach

How to grow lettuce, spinach and kale - highly nutritious greens! | visit I Gotta Create!

Growing lettuce, spinach and kale 
is easy, rewarding and SO healthy for you! 
These are some of the easiest
and most prolific crops to grow in the Spring and Fall garden.

And that is fantastic because these dark, leafy greens are exactly what our bodies crave. They're great in salads, smoothies, and cooked up in recipes.

We've grown these crops from seed
planted directly in the ground in our  raised bed,
as well as from
from plants started at the local greenhouse.

I haven't noticed a big difference between those two methods, other than seeds are less expensive,
and I found planting from seed, particularly for the kale and spinach, works great in our climate.

Typically the seed packets will tell you to plant
either after the threat of frost, or as soon as you 
can work your soil. 

Raised garden bed with a convertible roof! Plastic protects plants in cold months and chicken wire protects from deer. | Visit I Gotta Create!

My hubby made a handy-dandy little "greenhouse" topper or roof. We don't worry about 
frost and start our plants very early in spring.
The roof is "convertible" so that when the plastic comes off, the chicken wire continues to protect our crops from the deer.
It's awesome! You can check out the raised bed roof {here}.

Once our trees leave out, we have a very shady yard. However, our garden gets at least 6 hours of good sun each day. With the shade it gets in the morning and after 6pm, it appears to be an ideal setup for these crops.

The soil in our raised bed is loose, organic, and mixed with compost we make here from plant-based table scraps, egg shells and dried leaves / grass. 

We've recently added a few chicks to our family, so we'll have those droppings for future composting!

We've had a beautiful, cool spring with lots of
rain. These crops do like moisture, so in drier years or climates, mulch and water regularly.

You'll notice that another benefit of planting lettuce is that it is so dense it will
shade the space underneath other plants,
like tomatoes and broccoli,
keeping the ground moist and keeping weeds out.

However, kale does not like to be planted with tomatoes. It prefers onions or beets.

How to grow lettuce, spinach and kale - highly nutritious greens! | visit I Gotta Create!

You'll love planting a looseleaf lettuce mix 
because you can just harvest several leaves 
as you need them
and leave the rest to continue growing.
But you can do similar with the heads of lettuce
by harvesting the outer leaves.
Harvesting is best done in the cool morning
when the leaves are fresh, happy and crisp.

How to grow lettuce, spinach and kale - highly nutritious greens! | visit I Gotta Create!

This year we also planted heads
and they turned out beautifully!
Romaine lettuce creates beautiful big leaves
that are great for sandwiches and lettuce wraps.
Plus, I discovered that it is one of the most nutritious lettuces!

Once summer temperatures start sustaining 80 degrees or so, the seeds won't germinate anymore.
So enjoy your lettuce early in the season
and plant another crop in the Fall.

Also, as it gets warmer, lettuce, kale and spinach
will get bitter and start producing seeds,
making them inedible.
If that happens, just toss them on the compost pile.

For a great salad,
grow several types of lettuce, spinach and kale
and mix them together. The texture and 
tastes are wonderful!

What are you growing in your garden?

Get the recipe!

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