I didn't get my garden started until way, way late this year, basically too late for most things to root or fruit to maturity, although you never know with the warm summer we've had. So because of that I decided to focus on greens and planted a lot of random ones really densely together in a 6' x 6' raised bed to make a big lovely sprout and baby greens garden (kale, spring raab, mizuna, lettuce, parsley, spinach, radish, mild greens mix and some mystery seeds that may actually be carrots). There are a few marigolds thrown in there too. It looks like a miniature forest which I imagine wee fairy people living in, riding snails ;).
This was a really easy garden plan, perfect for me who was a) too busy, and b) needs to eat more greens. Low maintenance and almost instant gratification, love it! I've been harvesting small greens for meals daily, starting about a week after sowing the seeds in July. I'm not sure if many of the plants will make it to full size before they're eaten or run out of room to grow. Everything was sown really densely and I'm thinning the plants by eating them. I'll sow seeds a few more times to fill in the gaps where things didn't come up as much and I'm hoping to be harvesting immature greens outdoors into late fall for lots of salads, green smoothies and side dishes.
I just made this salad last night for supper along with a bowl of soup and it was delicious and filling, so I thought I'd share. I really like salads that have some crunch to them and the crispy onions and sunflower seeds do the trick. Get creative with whatever you've got on hand, this was a clean-out-the-fridge salad to go with an easy can of soup, but it was fun to make and eat because of harvesting from the backyard. Check out our ginormous lists of yummy salad recipes and salad dressings for inspiration!
Have you ever been a lazy and late gardener like me and still enjoyed the rewards? Share your stories in the comments. Andreae had some luck when she was Lazy in the Spring, Happy in the Fall too.
Crunchy Leafy Salad
- Green leaf lettuce from the farmers' market, cut up
- Spring raab, mizuna and kale sprouts from my backyard raised bed
- Parsley from my raised bed
- Cherry tomatoes, halved
- Red bell pepper, cut into strips
- White mushrooms, diced
- Sunflower seeds
- Crispy fried onions
- Crumbled dry feta cheese
Top the leaf lettuce with the other ingredients, using the sprouts at the top because they look beeeeautiful. Dress lightly with your dressing of choice, like this homemade buttermilk ranch that I really want to try; it sounds decadently delicious. If you wanted to skip the soup and make the salad heartier, add some beans or slices of grilled chicken, beef or crispy tofu.