You may not think of yourself as a veggie farmer but we’re here to tell you: maybe you should. Growing your own greens this season can up your leafies intake—plus save you from paying unreasonable import prices. And it’s kinder to the earth than buying trucked-in lettuce.
The time is ripe to get back to vegetable basics with a hardy and ready-to-plant-right-now lettuce garden. The green stuff, including arugula, chard and endive, is good for much more than lining the bottom of salad bowls. They’re loaded with nutrients including vitamins and fiber.
Going for the greens has never been easier. All you’ll need are some lettuce plugs for early planting, a sunny spot of land or area for containers that’s near a water source (pick a place that will get some shade down the line during the hottest summer months), and a willingness to tend with TLC (pay all that extra energy you’ll get from eating so healthy forward!).
Lettuces are composed of plenty of water and have a shallow root system, which means they’ll need a lot of that clear liquid as they grow, about an inch-worth a week. Plant in damp soil, and when putting in seeds, give them plenty of space to stretch out as they unfold. An added bonus: while the initial economic outlay is limited, the results are lasting. Says CBS Early Show green thumb Charlie Dimmock: "We used to let them get really really big and then cut the whole thing. These days, what we do is we just keep picking the leaves so they just keep regenerating."
And don’t worry if you start to eschew all other vegetable comers—lettuce leaves a lasting vegetable-garden impression. From the early-blooming Bibb to fall collards, you’ll be able to get your fresh lettuce fix for months to come, and all for a lot less cabbage than you’d pay for grocery store organic.
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