Mesclun is Not a Drug

I planted some mesclun (salad mix) seeds five weeks ago, a bit early perhaps, and they seemed to take forever to sprout. I’m impatient, but coaxing them is useless. Giving plant food to seeds is overkill.

Mesclun is a French dialect word meaning “mix”, so technically “mesclun mix” is redundant, but it’s not any worse than “PIN number”. Such is language use.

My “gourmet” mix includes green and red lettuces, arugula, curly endive, Russian kale. The combinations vary from seed company to seed company; read the labels. There is usually a combination of lettuces and bitter greens, and some curly something-or-other to make it look “gourmet.” They’re all delicious.

Anybody can grow salad, even in the city. Salad mixes can grow with less sun than summer vegetables require, and they’re perfectly happy in cool weather. Growing your own won’t replace going to the green grocer or supermarket for greens, but it’s a satisfying act to pick a few of your homegrown lettuce leaves and throw them into the salad bowl or on a sandwich.

My mesclun babies are now about an inch and a half high, and they’ll need to be thinned soon. They’re growing in barrels so I can tend them more easily.

Annual herbs are also easy to grow in barrels, but you do need some sun, so if your condo balcony faces northwest, you’re out of luck.

But more on the mesclun as it grows up.

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