Just landed upon our gardening series? Get caught up by starting here.
Now that your beautiful spring garden is growing, it's time to get harvesting. While your leafy greens are still tender and young, you need to get in there and harvest every single day.
Create the best salads you've ever had hands down with these 5 harvesting steps.
- The right tools for the job
Usually in gardening you want to have special shears, trowels and other specialty tools. All you need to harvest from your spring garden though is a nice sharp knife or a pair of scissors, plus a big beautiful salad bowl to fill with delectable greens.
- What to harvest
Find the biggest outer leaves from each one of the spring plants growing in your garden. You can have several kinds of lettuce, spinach, bok choy and other, kale, Swiss chard. Even tender pea shoots, onion and garlic greens make an excellent addition to spring salads. Don't forget the herbs! Add chive flowers and parsley.
- Doing the deed
Take your knife or scissors, and carefully snip a couple of the from each lettuce, spinach, kale or chard plant and add them to your bowl. Make sure to cut the leaf right at the bottom where it meets the stem. The smaller inner leaves will continue to grow and you'll get a continual harvest!
- Alternate methods
For lettuces you can also cut the whole plant about an inch above the soil for a method, but you will have to wait about 3 weeks for your next head of lettuce. For bok choy, chop off the top third of the plant in one or two sections. The leaves, stems and flowers are equally delicious. Snip the top 3 or 4 inches off of garlic, onion and chive greens.
- Dinner time
Bring your fresh cut spring salad into the kitchen, rinse of any soil and cut or rip the leaves into bite-sized pieces. I like to toss the with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice, or olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction. Be creative and add nuts or berries, shaved Parmesan, bits of charcuterie. Or even, just eat as is. The taste and texture of your fresh-picked garden salad will be unlike anything that you can find at the store.
Crunch 'n munch, just like Peter Rabbit.