Plant Fall Greens Now by Byron Chitwood.
It’s that time of the year to plant fall greens in your vegetable garden. Our summer was a long and hot one and it still is fairly hot during the day. However, if you want a fall crop of greens, now is the time to plant them. Unless the sky opens up and we get some toad strangler rains, after you plant the seeds to various greens, you will have to “spot” water them several times per day. Keeping the soil moist is one of the secrets to getting good germination of the seeds that you have planted. I can tell you with certainty that some day it is going to rain again, I just can’t tell you when.
In alphabetically order, let’s start with beets. Most folks just grow them for the roots but they have one of the most delicious greens of almost anything that you can plant. The seeds are actually dried portions of the beet root. Some folks soak them before planting but they seem to germinate about as fast if you plant them about ½ inch deep and keep them well watered. There always seems to be some parts of the rows that you have planted that don’t germinate for some reason. This holds true for beets and almost anything else that you plant in the garden. If this part of the row doesn’t sprout within a few days after the rest of the row has, just replant in that portion of the row. To avoid repeating myself, Swiss chard seeds look like beets and the sprouted plants look about the same. Be sure and plant some chard. Stems and leaves are very good to eat and they are the hardiest thing that you can plant in your garden. Some of them can survive the winter and also the heat of the summer.
Another green that is fairly new to our culture is Bok Choy. There are several varieties available at the seed store. One has very large leaves and the other has smaller leaves and a whole lot more of them. Bok choy seeds look just like collard, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and mustard seeds. They are probably related going back in time to Adam and Eve. Plant a few of the Bok Choy plants of each variety and you will be pleased with the results. If you eat in a Chinese restaurant, the green stuff in your soup and other dishes is Bok Choy, hopefully.
All of the greens mentioned above are great if you like them. They are loaded with vitamins, especially vitamin A. If you don’t like them, then you won’t be able to see in the dark like the ones of us who consume vast quantities of them in the fall.
Last but not least are turnip greens. These greens are the strongest of the whole lot. I like them when they are not so strong and then I go for the roots. When they are too strong for me, folks that subsisted on them in the depression say “they have that good turnip flavor”. To each his own, eat more greens.