Georgia Magazine - April 2012 - (Page 42)

Fresh, leafy greens provide healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals BY LYNN COULTER M Growing greens • Collards: While Georgians usually plant collards in the fall, you can set out store-bought transplants in the spring. Give your plants eight to 10 hours a day of full sun and welldrained soil. Space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart. Varieties to try: ‘Georgia’—Holds up well during droughts and grows in sandy or poor soils. ‘Vates’—Mild, blue-green leaves. • Swiss chard: Chard needs rich, well-drained soil and full sun. Many gardeners sow seeds directly in the garden, two to three weeks before the last spring frost. Plant 1/2-inch deep and 1 inch apart, in rows spaced 18 inches apart. Thin to every 10 inches. Chard will grow all summer if kept harvested. Varieties to try: ‘Bright Lights’—Colorful pink, yellow, orange, red and white stems. ‘Lucullus’—This heat-tolerant variety yields a harvest into fall. • Kale: Curly kale is sometimes used on restaurant plates instead of parsley. Like other dark greens, it’s packed with vitamins. If you plant More online at Despite the name, ornamental kales, like this one, have edible leaves. Kale seeds need light to germinate, so don’t cover them with soil when you plant. Collards, are easy to grow and can take some heat, although they grow better in cool weather. Keep them watered so the leaves don’t take on a bitter flavor. 42 in the spring, make sure the kale will have some shade as the weather warms up. Sow seeds directly in the garden, 1/4-inch deep, in rows 18 inches apart. Thin to every 10 inches. Varieties to try: ‘Russian Red’—An heirloom with red, oak leaf-shaped leaves. ‘Early Siberian’—A fast grower, with slightly curled, blue-green leaves. • Mustard greens: Sow mustard seeds in your garden every three weeks until the temperatures rise, planting in well-drained soil. MusRead Melinda Myers’ story on the “5 steps to a great garden” on page 43A of the April 2012 online edition at www.georgia web exclusive GEORGIA MAGAZINE COURTESY OF EVAN-AMOS, WIKI COMMONS web exclusive COURTESY OF DAVID R. TRIBBLE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS ost of us don’t eat as many vegetables as experts recommend. Fortunately, we can add greens to our plates for healthy fiber, vitamins, minerals and other substances that may prevent disease. It isn’t hard to grow your own fresh, leafy greens if you pay attention to timing. Once the temperatures rise, these nutritious vegetables will bolt, or set seeds, and become tough and bitter tasting. Start your greens from seeds, if you have time before your area heats up, or use store-bought starts. You can plant again in late summer for a fall to early winter harvest. Most greens grow best in soil that has a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. (Coop extension agents can help you deter- If you’re unsure your family will eat greens they haven’t tried mine your soil’s pH.) before, tuck a few leaves into a dish as a sample. This sandUse a complete garden wich is made with arugula. fertilizer, such as 1010-10, and add good organic matter to your garden. Give the plants at least an inch of water a week if rainfall isn’t sufficient. COURTESY OF XAVIER SNELGROVE, WIKI COMMONS Eat your (own) greens

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2012

Georgia Magazine - April 2012
Liberty Notes
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar of Events
Festival Guide
‘Zamily’ ties
Horses, hats and hospitality
Around Georgia
Head for the border
Travel Guide
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks

Georgia Magazine - April 2012