Other greens

In addition to spinach, swiss chard, and lettuce (as well as the cole crops kale, chinese cabbages, and collards), we've grown a variety of other greens.

Some of these greens we've liked and some we haven't. Some have grown well and some haven't.


Purslanes ©Janet Allen
Cultivated (on left) and wild purslane

Our garden has always grown purslane. We treated it as a pesty weed.

Having done so for so many years, it was difficult to decide to buy seeds to intentionally grow it.

Wild purslane ©Janet Allen
Purslane the "weed"

But because it has been so highly touted as an excellent source of omega-3s we decided to try golden purslane. We concluded that it was a waste of money when green purslane grows quite well without any help and the golden variety didn't appear to be noticeably different, although being larger, it's easier to harvest.

The key to using a vegetable is finding suitable recipes we can incorporate into our overall menu. We use as one of the ingredients in our salads, but we're still looking for a recipe that features purslane.

Harvest record

YR LB Notes
13 1 We again tried to use it, but often forgot about it
12 3 We made a stronger effort to use it
11 0 We didn't think about it this year
10 1 An experiment


Zen plants(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Zen plants at the harvesting stage

One of our favorites is zen, which is an Asian green under that name in the Burpee and Cook's Garden catalog. It is a mild green that grows well—at least until 2011—and also freezes well.

Zen resembles collard greens, but is an Oriental hybrid that is fast growing. It is subject to flea beetles and slugs.

Komatsuna is a similar Asian green that we now grow more of because of the limited availability (and unlimited cost) of zen.

In 2011 the zen and red Russian kale were destroyed by something that chews the growing tip of the plant. We need to be on the lookout for that and, hopefully, find out what it is and how to treat it. Other kale and other greens were not affected.

In 2012, we stopped growing zen (partly because of the high seed cost) and are now growing just types of kale and collards.


Dandelion©Janet Allen Dandelions

We've grown Italian dandelions in the past and they are a good choice for people who like a sharp dandelion taste. This green is very productive and grows erect and straight. It can be harvested by cutting down to a couple of inches from the soil and grow again. We have not noticed any pest problems.

Dandelions growing©Janet Allen Dandelions growing

Dandelions grow in a very upright manner.


Claytonia ©Janet AllenClaytonia

We've grown both mache and claytonia at times. They tolerate quite cold weather and are good in cold frames through the winter. We have also grown some in the cellar under lights during the winter. Mache, or at least the variety we have grown, is quite a small plant that is picked whole, thus no second or third picking. Claytonia had small thick leaves that add a nice flavor to salads. Neither of these plants provides a lot of produce for the space they take.

These grew well enough, but we just never acquired a taste for them.

Maché (or corn salad)

Mache ©Janet AllenMaché, sometimes called corn salad

This is another of those plants we tried, they grew well, but we just didn't acquire a taste for.