The French approach to salad greens--"mesclun" means "mixture." Early sweet lettuces and tangy, tender greens are pre-mixed to grow together for easy cutting. They're as pretty in the garden as they are in the bowl. Harvest most mixes in 30 days.
Sow in average soil in full sun in early to mid spring and again in late summer. (In late summer, Sow seeds in a protected area where the temperature is below 75°F.) In Deep
South, Gulf and Pacific Coast areas, Sow from fall to early spring. Broadcast seeds in beds, or
in rows 12" apart, Sow seeds thinly and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly.
Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
Make successive plantings about every 2 weeks to extend period of harvest.
How to Grow Mesclun
Thin to stand 6" apart when 1-2" high. Thinnings make delicious early salads. Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Many greens are shallow-rooted, so avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.
Begin harvesting all mixes in about 30 days. Or, as soon as plants are 4-5" tall, cut them about 1" above the ground, then water the bed with compost tea. Many crops will resprout in about 20 days and can be cut again. You can also harvest entire plants as soon as they are large enough to be used, and then replant the bed. As with other greens, immerse mesclun in cold water, then dry. Store mesclun in sealed plastic bags and refrigerate.
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