Decorative Leafy Vegetable

by Bisset
(Dearborn, MI 48126)

What is the name of the vegetable that is light green, or purple, that is used to decorate around the outside of a food platter?


ANSWER:

Sometimes kale is used to decorate a food platter. It is blueish-green to purple in color. It is an edible member of the cabbage (Brassica) family of plants.

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Growing Spinach

by Frances
(Wadebridge UK)

I used excellent home-produced compost for my spinach plants, but they grew and bolted like Triffords!

It was during recent hot/drought weather. But the yield was just like growing weeds, and nothing like ordinary growth, in fact a waste of time and effort.

Can you advise please for next try, and when would that planting time be best?

ANSWER:

Spinach is a cool weather crop, as are lettuce, broccoli, peas, and some others.

During hot weather, these vegetables tend to grow very quickly, and "bolt" which means they produce a seed head or flower at the top of the plant.

It is best to plant these "cool weather" vegetables in the spring, so that they have time to mature before the weather becomes hot.

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How to Harvest Collard Green Seeds?

by Branson Michaels
(Richmond, Va USA)

How do you get collard green seeds from the plant?


ANSWER:

Leave some leaves on one or two collard plants in the fall. After they over-winter, the plants will produce seed pods in the spring.

Wait until the seed pods are dry, and then harvest the pods. The pods will contain seeds that can then be planted.

If you leave the dry pods on the plants too long, the pods may crack open and drop the seeds onto the ground.

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Growing Lettuce and Beets

by Diane
(Barstow, CA)

I planted lettuce and beets for the first time.

Lettuce: I misplaced the lettuce package. The lettuce started out in a ball shape. But before they got big and round they started growing a stock with lettuce leaves. It tastes good but what kind do I have? I planted the lettuce about the end of March first of April. Live in the high desert in So. California. Why is it growing so tall?.

Beets: I planted beets at the same time as the lettuce. The leaves are about 7-8 inches now. How can I tell if the beets are a good size and ready to pick?

Thank you for your help.

I also want to try asparagus; when can I plant them and where do I get seeds? I could not find them.

I am a first time gardener.


ANSWER:

It sounds like your lettuce "bolted"; which means that it grows tall and forms a seed-head. It was probably a type of leaf lettuce such as romaine or red leaf. All types of lettuce are easier to grow in cool weather. Hot weather makes them want to bolt, and produce seeds. It is best to harvest leaf-lettuce right away when they are still in the leaf stage. Also grow them in cool weather when you can, and/or provide some shade for the plants when it is hot.

Beets take between 40 to 60 days to reach maturity. You want to dig or pull them when they are small and tender. You can pull one beet every now and then to check their progress when you think they are almost ready.

If your local garden center doesn't have asparagus seeds, you can find them online. I buy some of my seeds online from Territorial Seed Company here in Oregon. Their web address is www.territorialseed.com. They have a huge selection of seeds, and are an old and established seed company.

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