Learn how to grow ingredients for a delectible year-round salad.
A tasty and healthy green that was discovered centuries ago in France, mesclun is one of the easiest, most rewarding crops you can grow.
Today seed companies across the country have developed extraordinary mixtures of mesclun. Various blends include a combination of greens like lettuces, arugula, curly endive, mustard, etc. Choose a mesclun mix that sounds appealing - or better yet, a few different ones. The more varied your choices, the more varied the flavors in your salads.
In as few as 35 days mesclun is ready for harvest. If you plant more than one variety of mesclun, no two salads will ever be alike.
Protecting Your Crop
But whether you grow mesclun in a pot or a plot, keep in mind that birds love the baby leaves just as much humans do, so provide some net protection:
This frame is also great for shade cloth as the weather heats, extending the harvest by protecting the tender greens from the harsh afternoon sun. Winter protection, requires a more permanent solution.
A cold frame can help you have mesclun salads through the winter. Spring and fall are the mesclun's prime time for growing, so you usually need to take few precautions then.
Some 35 to 45 days after planting, your mesclun will be ready to harvest. One handy way to pick your crop is to use ordinary scissors with relatively long blades. Just grab a handful of the tops of the leaves and snip away, leaving about one inch of plant above the ground.
In most climates, mesclun will provide three ample cuttings. After that, pull it up, throw it on the compost pile and sow another crop. Remember, a simple vinaigrette is all you need to enhance the wonderful tastes and textures of these tender morsels!