Growing Late Season Greens
In the heat of summer many greens begin bolting (that’s when they shoot up a firm stalk from the center which will blossom and then set seed). Bolted greens become tough and bitter pretty quickly. They make for great green smoothies, but they’re not so good for eating.
Don’t despair! With a little planning ahead, you can have fresh greens throughout the fall.
When to Plant
Mid-July is the time to start thinking about your greens for September. Most years you can plant greens through August, especially greens that grow fast and thrive in cool weather, like arugula, bok choy, mustard greens.
A good rule in the garden is to plant a small amount of greens every 2-3 weeks to keep them fresh, tender, and plentiful all season long. Most greens need about 60 days to grow before they are ready for harvest.
Basic Planting and Harvest Times
- Plant April 15 → Harvest June 15
- Plant April 30 → Harvest June 30
- Plant May 15 → Harvest July 15
- Plant May 30 → Harvest July 30
- Plant June 15 → Harvest August 15
- Plant June 30 → Harvest August 30
- Plant July 1 → Harvest September 1
- Plant July 15 → Harvest September 15
Get Fresh Greens Faster!
Baby greens (aka: spring mix, mesclun mix) are ready to harvest sooner because the leaves are cut before the heads form. You can usually take your first cutting in about 30 days.
When cutting, leave the scissor blades about an inch above the ground so that all the teeny tiny leaves coming up will still grow to form a second round of cutting in about 3 weeks!
TIP Lettuce isn’t the only green that can be grown using this method. Try it with kale, collards, cabbage, mustards, etc.!