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A Fall Thinnings Salad

If you grow from seed this fall, you’ll have a chance to enjoy the benefits of thinning your seedlings right into the salad bowl.  Baby greens may be expensive in the market, but they’re free when you pick from the excess of sprouts in your garden.

Even when using Square Foot Gardening, I like to have a little bit of insurance.  I plant two or three seeds in each planting hole, then wait for survival of the fittest to make itself known.  The smaller seedlings are then snipped off (with scissors, rather than pulling, to prevent damaging the roots of the remaining greens), and tossed into the first salad of the season.

Red and yellow stems highlight baby Swiss chard

Black Seeded Simpson and arugula

There are a few mainstay lettuces in my garden. Black Seeded Simpson provides a bright lime-green accent to salads, and arugula (okay, not a lettuce) adds punch. Note that these photos show greens that are already thinned out.

Red Oak

Red Oak not only has a differently shaped leaf than its neighbors, but the color adds diversity to the fall salad.

Forellenschluss and Rouge D’hiver in the background

Forellenschluss is one of my favorite romaine lettuces, with its speckled leaves and unexpected color splashes.  Rough D’hiver offers the blush of red on green leaves.

Osaka Purple Mustard Greens

Salads are so much more exciting with mustard greens included in the mix.  Osaka purple mustard has a rough texture and tangy bite that also adds color to your salad.

The finished product is photo-worthy, not to mention delicious.  As these greens grow, they will provide months of delicious salads from very few plants, just by harvesting the outside leaves.  In the meanwhile, this teaser is tasty indicator of what is to come.

A thing of beauty!

Just a little olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper = perfect first fall salad.  Do you have favorite greens you like to grow?  Share them here with your fellow gardenerds.

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