Cabbage and watercress, mustard, rucola, deer-horned plantain, spinach, Swiss chard
Leafy salads and herbs. Part 2
Head salad I sow on seedlings in mid-March. I really like the Mowgli varieties, the right size. When the first true leaf appears, I dive the plants and plant them in peat-distilled tablets.
When small roots appear from the mesh, I remove the mesh and put the tablets in a tray with special holes for each such tablet. And I take it out to the glazed balcony and place it so that direct sunlight does not fall on the plants, which causes the soil in the tablets to dry out.
On April 1, I plant salad seedlings in a greenhouse at a distance of at least 25 cm from each other. During the summer, I sow the head lettuce several times, but I sow the plants a little, as much as is necessary for eating, because after the head of cabbage has formed, the lettuce immediately releases a flower arrow.
Watercress I sow in a greenhouse along the edges of the ridges. This is the champion of early maturation among deciduous plants. It grows very quickly, therefore, having reaped the harvest, I again sow its seeds in this place. I use it for food only fresh, when it reaches a height of 5 cm. It tastes slightly spicy, with bitterness. Gives a spicy taste to vegetable salads. Its leaves are rich in salts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, iodine. It also contains ascorbic acid, B vitamins, carotene.
In early February, I sow watercress seeds in small plastic boxes of butter, melted cheese at intervals of 7 days. Moreover, they can be sown not only in an earthen mixture, but also on artificial soil, for example, on a piece of wet padding polyester. You will only have to contain a container with salad in a plastic bag, otherwise the synthetic winterizer dries quickly and the plants may die.
Mustard, Volnushka varieties
Mustard - unpretentious, fast-growing plant. From early spring to the end of August, it must be kept under a spunbond, protecting it from its main pest, the beetle. In September, when it gets cold outside, mustard leaves (planted both outdoors and in the greenhouse) do not need to be closed, at which time the pest has already disappeared. In addition, the weather is often cloudy, and the daylight becomes shorter, therefore, under the covering material, the leaves of mustard leaf become discolored, shrink, and its yield decreases. In October, my mustard grows in my greenhouse. If frost is possible at night, then I put spunbond on the plants, and take it off during the day.
I noticed: the colder it is outside, the more lush the plant and the larger its leaves (especially in autumn). Therefore, mustard mustard must be grown in the late summer - autumn period, when other thermophilic herbs are already producing the last and insignificant harvest.
Sow variety Volnushka... Now varieties with red leaves have appeared on sale - I will definitely try to grow such plants as well.
I start sowing mustard leaves in mid-February (for eating in early spring). I illuminate the plants with fluorescent lamps, and when positive temperatures are set on the glazed balcony (not lower than 6 ° C), I take them there. At the end of March, I sow mustard seeds in a greenhouse. During the summer season, I periodically sow it on the vacated beds - after tulips, garlic, early potatoes and other crops. I sow mustard seeds at intervals of 14-20 days.
The taste of mustard leaves is spicy, with a sharp edge. Mustard is good both in fresh salads, and on sandwiches (homemade hamburgers), and with or without lettuce. This plant is useful for humans - it contains ascorbic acid, vitamins of group B, PP, iron, calcium ... And most importantly, this culture is unpretentious, cold-resistant and grows rapidly.
Arugula (Arugula, Eruka, Indau) Is the name of the same plant. I bought its seeds when I found out that in the store the leaves of this plant are more expensive than meat. Moreover, many seed companies sell seed bags on which only one name of this plant is written. So I "bought" this trick by buying three different bags of arugula, indau, eruki seeds. I was very surprised when the same plant grew from different bags of seeds. Later I only learned that these three names are the same plant.
Since I bought the seeds in early July, I sowed them immediately in plastic boxes in a greenhouse for seedlings. She sprinkled the seeds with earth and placed the boxes in plastic bags. Amicable shoots appeared in 2-3 days.
With the appearance of the first true leaf, the seedlings were planted in large pots and left in the greenhouse. This occupation is quite laborious, since the plants are very small. She covered the pots from direct sunlight with a thin spunbond, and took it off a week later.
When the seedlings reached a height of 5 cm, part of it was planted between the tomatoes (at this time, the lower leaves of the tomatoes have already been removed, and it is light under them), and the excess plants were left in pots in the greenhouse. They all took root well - they went into growth very quickly.
In early September, I tasted eruka. I must say that her taste is specific. At first I didn't like it - it's the taste of fried mushrooms with a lot of oil.
I tried to make a salad out of it. I washed the leaves and dried them slightly on a towel. I tore them with my hands (don't cut them!) Into small pieces, added chopped champignons (always from a jar or fresh boiled ones (I didn't like fried fresh champignons - a very fatty dish) .Added carrots grated on a coarse grater, small cherry tomatoes (cut in half), pitted olives (halves). All is well mixed with a small amount of vegetable oil. In this form, eruku is quite possible to eat. But again - the taste for an amateur.
In the fall, I took the pots with arugula to the city on the glassed-in balcony and removed the harvest of leaves until the New Year.
Since arugula is very useful, of course, I will grow it, despite its specific taste. The leaves of this plant have antibacterial properties that improve digestion, it lowers blood sugar levels, therefore it is useful for diabetics. It is used as an antiscorbutic plant.
The aboveground part of the eruka contains vitamins: C, group B9, trace elements: iodine, potassium, calcium, iron and others. It increases the content of hemoglobin in the blood, removes excess cholesterol, strengthens the walls of blood vessels and helps to be in good shape all day, stabilizes the metabolism in the body, therefore it is indispensable in the diet of those who are losing weight. In addition, it has a mild diuretic.
Deer-horned plantain (Bambi)
Deer-horned plantain (Bambi) - salad and spinach plant. I was surprised to see seeds of an edible plantain in the store, which is completely different from its wild relative. I bought its seeds in June and sowed it in the greenhouse between the tomatoes. By September, a small rosette of long, slightly cut leaves had formed. They were slightly bitter, but tastes good. I added leaves to fresh vegetable salads. It is better to use young leaves for food.
This plant should be sown in early spring for seedlings or in a greenhouse in early April. You can also grow outdoors, but you need to sow in the spring. The distance between plants is not less than 30-40 cm. Withstands minor frosts.
Spinach is the most useful plant in the garden - it contains a huge amount of nutrients. The beneficial properties of spinach are not lost during heat treatment. It strengthens blood vessels, slows down the aging process, and rapidly increases the hemoglobin content in the blood. Useful for patients with diabetes mellitus, obesity, anemia.
To get its early greens, I sow on seedlings in early March in peat-distilled tablets, one seed at a time. I put the container with the tablets in a plastic bag and put it on the glassed-in balcony so that the plant hardens from the moment of germination, since the seedlings will be planted in the greenhouse in early spring. After the emergence of shoots, I immediately remove the container from the package.
As soon as small roots appear from the net, I transplant the spinach into small seedling pots with a retractable bottom. I transplant the plants, slightly drying the soil in a tablet so that the leaves begin to wither - spinach has very juicy leaves, and they break when transplanted. Then on April 1, I plant the seedlings in the greenhouse at a distance of at least 15-20 cm from each other.
Spinach seeds (for the second batch of greens) I sow on April 1 in the greenhouse. I make sure that the soil always remains moist - its seeds germinate for a long time. If the ground dries up, then not all seeds will sprout. I sow seeds by seed at a distance of at least 8-10 cm, so as not to thin out. With this planting, the rosettes of the plants grow large. And they grow much faster than with thickened sowing. I sow the third batch of seeds in early May in open ground between rows of carrots or beets. I close the ridges with spunbond.
I spend the last sowing of spinach in the second half of August in a greenhouse, after removing the tomato plants. I tried sowing spinach in early September. But the rosette of the plant did not have time to grow to a large size. Therefore, the last date for sowing seeds is in the twentieth of August - in the greenhouse.
I eat fresh spinach leaves, adding them to salads from fresh vegetables. Scrambled eggs with spinach leaves are very tasty. To do this, wash the spinach leaves, dry them slightly on a towel, cut them into narrow strips. In a frying pan in oil, I will darken the leaves a little, as soon as they change color, I drive in the eggs (you can also omelette), mix, close the lid. Fries over low heat. Leaves can be frozen and added to sorrel soup in winter (sorrel is also frozen) or borscht.
Chard (leaf beet) takes its rightful place in my garden. The leaves of red chard are very decorative - their leaves are wavy with red veins. They are rich in mineral salts: calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, vitamins C, B, P, carotene.
I sow seeds in early April in a greenhouse. I plant seedlings in open ground at the end of May. I do not set aside a separate bed for chard, but plant it next to perennial flowers. This is an unpretentious plant, but it works best on well-cultivated soils.
I freeze the leaves and petioles and add them to the borscht in winter. From the leaves I cook cutlets, and also chard can be stewed, boiled, fried, used as a "wrapper" for rolls of vegetables and meat, cabbage rolls. Chard petiole juice is useful for anemia.
gardener, candidate of geographical sciences,
Photo by the author
Leafy salads and herbs
• Part 1: Leafy salads Lollo Bionda, Frillis, Endive
• Part 2: Cabbage and watercress, mustard, arugula, reindeer-horned plantain, spinach, Swiss chard
• Part 3: Stevia, Agastacha (Mexican Mint), Parsley, Basil, Onion