Unusual Salad Greens

SaltwortOne of the most exciting projects at the Garden Home Retreat is the roomy vegetable garden. Selecting plants is going to be a real treat!

This spring I have been testing some of the more unusual salad greens to decide which varieties merit a spot in the new garden. I'm growing the heat tolerant Jericho lettuce, several types of arugula, claytonia (Claytonia perfoliata or Montia perfoliata), saltwort (Salsola komarovii), and minutina (Plantago coronopus). Now if you?d like to try these varieties, you don't need a lot of space - a good sized container is perfect.

ClaytoniaClaytonia is a crisp tasting salad green with heart-shaped leaves. I have found the plant to be quite cold tolerant, surviving moderate frosts in my garden. If you live in a temperate climate you could grow it all winter long.

MinutinaMinutina has succulent, grass like leaves that are so attractive I would grow this plant just for its good looks. The texture is crunchy and the flavor is mild. It is a great green for adding flair to a salad.

Of all the greens I'm trialing, the saltwort has the strongest personality. Although the leaves look delicate, they have a lot of flavor. It is tart and reminds me of the old-fashioned oxalis my grandmother grew. As children, my siblings and I used to eat that stuff by the handful. It looked like a pack of rabbits had been through the garden by the time we left. While I can't attest to the nutritive value of the oxalis, saltwort is rich in vitamins and minerals. All the more reason to grow it!

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