By the time our CSA finally started up last May, I was so desperate for fresh salad greens that I was eyeing the houseplants in a way that made them nervous.
So this year I’m trying something new. Winters in this area are generally mild, with the exception of a couple of cold snaps in the 20s and maybe one light dusting of snow. With that in mind, I searched for frost-hardy salad green seed and discovered organic Even’Star Winter Arugula from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. The description boasted it could withstand temps as low as 6°F while growing fast and vigorously with little rain, soil fertility, or coddling. Sold!
The plan is to plant 4 feet of seed every 10 days so we’ll have a continuous supply of salad all winter long. The first seed went in the ground on November 12 and should be ready to eat right on schedule. The packet’s claim of 40 days to maturity is spot on.
Quite pleased with how frost-tolerant it seems to be. I sowed one batch of seed two days before a sudden drop in temperature down to 30°F, and it germinated just fine. I water about once a week, and it does help to work plenty of composted manure into the soil with each planting.
Other than that, the greens have been completely ignored and appear to be quite happy. I’ll give you guys an update on their cold tolerance later in the season.
But for now, the houseplants are breathing a sigh of relief.