November 7, 2018

Greens In The Fall Vegetable Garden

This is a long post about the greens I'm growing in the fall garden this year. I like to try out a little of everything, so there are lots of varieties. Friday I'll post the different bulbs and root vegetables that are growing in the other half of the garden, if it doesn't end up raining again. 

These photographs are from October 25th so a week and a half ago.
This little back corner of the garden is boxed in by the greenhouse, back fence, and the little wire fence around my garden on the side of which is our shed that offers lots of shade during the winter. Bad shed! Three beds of greens are located in this area with most of them belonging to the mustard family. Asian mustards are fairly mild without the strong spicy bite some mustards are known for. These were all planted September 13th, so about 6 weeks before these pictures.
In the bed on the left you can see in front the spoon shaped leaves of tatsoi, after that is the Pot Herb mizuna with it's highly serrated leaves, and then long stately leaves of Mibuna.
The tender yellowy green leaves belong to Fun Jen cabbage. The leaves have a delicate flavor and texture much like lettuce.
An unnamed pak choi is to the left of the dark red leaves of Lady Murasaki mustard spinach, and on the right is Senposai.
From front to back this bed has Mizspoona gene pool, Senposai, Baby choi, Pechay pak choy, Yokatta Na, and Toraziroh.
The pak choys are packed close together so they're not getting exceptionally big. I go ahead and cut whole plants when harvesting to give the other plants some room.
This bed looks like it has quite a few empty spots but in reality it just has some achingly slow growing greens.
Red Veined sorrel at 6 weeks. It's still teeny tiny. I truly doubt it'll get much bigger before the first hard frost which should occur at the end of November or beginning of December.
Color Crunch pak choi mix.
Purple Stem choy sum. Choy sums are usually eaten for their flowering stalks. I've grown this a couple times and never seen it bloom, so we go ahead and harvest the leaves. 
Dragon's Tongue rocket is still tiny tiny tiny. It took a long time to germinate on top of being slow growing.
Green Brigade rocket just seemingly appeared overnight, but still pretty slow.
Garnet Giant mustard. I'm curious to try this variety. 
A bed of mild Asian mustards containing mizun, mibuna, and tatsoi. I'll give them another week before we start harvesting this bed.
Tatsoi is a pretty fast growing. The leaves are nice and tender but sturdier than the other two varieties so hold up to longer cooking. They're probably have a slightly stronger flavor as well.
Pot Herb mizuna is a new to me variety of mizuna. The leaves are shorter and you don't get that long pretty stem that keeps it well off the ground, but it still has the lovely serrated leaves. Mizuna usually has a mild flavor that is not at all pungent.
Mibuna. I find the stems on mibuna and mizuna tender and juicy when cooked. The leaves on mibuna can get pretty long.

I usually prepare greens as a simple side by sautéing with onions and garlic, and then add a splash of nuoc mam and some ground pepper. For a little variation I might add soy sauce and ginger, instead of the nuoc mam.
A bed of endives, chicories, and Simpson lettuce.
Pan di Zucchero chicory
Tres Fine Marairchere Olesh endive
Broad-Leaved Batavian endive
I think this is probably Black Seeded Simpson lettuce. I find lettuce seeds difficult to germinate and keep alive during hot weather, only this lettuce and the Freedom lettuce mix survived to transplant age.
Puntarelle chicory
I had just harvested the sweet potatoes from this bed, and then started planting the Freedom lettuce mix the same day but then it began to rain. I've since filled the bed with the rest of the chicories, endives, and lettuce.
The Galega de Folhas Lisas kale and Nero di Toscana kales were planted in the spring and they're still doing great. Although a lot of them have fallen over, especially when I was pulling the sweet potato vines out from under them. The one standing at the post is 4 1/2 feet tall and the leaves are incredibly massive.

Caterpillars love the big leaves of the Galega kale. I had to spray Bt a few times this summer, and then at the very end of the season the grasshoppers were at them. There were a couple harlequin bugs but nothing like previous years where they ended up being terrible infestations.

Looking through these pictures, I realized a couple of beds didn't get covered. One bed held Pink Lettucy mustard gene pool, endive, parsley, and leaf celery. The other bed has a mixture of gai laan, bok choys, and broccoli raab.

The root vegetables will get covered next time. The beets are the best I've ever grown, which isn't saying much, and the carrot tops are the biggest I've gotten while gardening in Kentucky.


Margaret said...

Wow - your greens look so incredibly lush and healthy! It was a bad year for greens around here...I sowed them, but then was away for a lot of the time so they didn't end up getting picked as often as they should have. Your variety is inspirational - it makes me look forward to next spring :)

Sue Garrett said...

You certainly have lots of variety, I just don’t seem to be very successful with oriental greens. They end up really holey.

Phuong said...

Hi Margaret,
Spring greens never seen to last as long as they should. We've really developed a taste for greens lately, they're a bright contrast to heavier wintry foods.

It sounds like you're cutting down on the number of tomato plants in favor of dried beans. I wish we could grow dried beans, but they seem to have a problem with our wet springs and hot weather.

Phuong said...

Hi Sue,
We get a lot of flea beetle damage on the leaves in the spring and summer, but it really seems to lessen in the fall.

The dark red leaves of the Garnet Giant mustard you were curious about are actually delicious. Funny enough, they cook up to a purply color which is odd but still tasty.

Michelle said...

You have an amazing variety of greens. I love mustard greens but my husband can barely tolerate even the most mild ones so I only grow a few for myself and this fall/winter I have none because of the rodents.

Sue Garrett said...

I wonder whether the Garnet mustard would retain its colour if you added a little vinegar or lemon juice when cooking like you do when cooking red cabbage. If you don’t that goes to a bluish purple.

Dave @ HappyAcres said...

You've got such a big assortment of greens, and they looks so healthy! I'm guessing they have liked the rains. The Galega de Folhas Lisas kale I planted looked nothing like yours though. I believe the seed packet was mis-labeled.

Phuong said...

That's really too bad you're husband isn't into greens. They can have such a lovely sweetness coupled with a bite of spice or bitterness. Delicious.

My husband isn't into eating tomatoes or peppers, unless it's salsa or pasta sauce. It's probably the reason I grow so many snap beans, zucchinis, and summer squash which are his preference.

Phuong said...

Hi Sue,
I'll have to try vinegar with the mustard, the cooking liquid is definitely a bluish purple.

Phuong said...

Hi Dave,
That's such a shame about the Galega kale, I don't remember what your kale ended up looking like. I do find they can be temperamental when it comes to seed starting, they really don't like hot temps during germination.

It's funny how a big bag of greens can cook up into nothing. I think that's one of the reasons I like seeing a whole garden of them.

Endah Murniyati said...

Lovely greens! Looks so fresh and healthy!

Phuong said...

Hi Endah,
They're tasty as well with a surprising amount of variation in flavor.