Early greens - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Early greens

You often may think there isn't much you can plant in a garden to
give you something to eat early on in the season, but at the Montreal Botanical Gardens even with just lettuce there are a lot of options!

There are all kinds of lettuces you can grow and they are cold tolerant, so you can plant them early in spring and have a quick crop of a salad in a season when a lot of other things aren't growing. There are many options such as romaine lettuce and bibb lettuce. There are variations on lettuce types such as burgundy colored lettuces and frilly lettuces.With such a variety of colors and textures, this garden is beautiful even if you don't eat any of it.

At the Botanical Garden in Montreal, you can actually see all of these lettuces in one place and pick and choose the ones that look best to you. If you want something exotic, there are different kinds of greens, such as dandelions! You can actually pick cultivated dandelion varieties, grow them in your garden and make a great salad especially if you pick them while they are young.

Beyond the different lettuce varieties there are a lot of greens that you can plant that you can also eat early in the season. Swiss chard is a good example. Beets come in many colors, too. There are some with pale yellow roots and some red striped versions. They are beautiful mixed together in a salad.
There is an unusual green that looks like an artichoke, but it's not. It's a cardoon. You probably wouldn't use it in a salad. It's best eaten cooked as a summer green. And there are some edible weeds, beside dandelions. Purslane is one that grows wild right in your garden and you can pick it and eat it raw, or grow a cultivated variety.
By Charlie Nardozzi
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