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Grow Your Own Salad


by Phyllis Wasserman


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Now that fall is approaching here in the Northeast, most home grown gardens are starting to slow down. But lettuce is still making a healthful addition to your table. Lettuce is a cold weather vegetable. Most lettuces are very healthy. They are high in Vitamins A, C, and folate, all nutrients that help you stay healthy. They can prevent some problems like colds and heart disease.

When you pick lettuce from the garden, it has a natural sweetness and flavor that is different fom the store bought variety. Lettuce only takes about one month to grow from seeds. It will grow in almost any kind of soil. It has to have at least a half day of sun. Full sun is even better. Plant your last late-summer crop in the first week of August. Then add more rows of seed every two weeks. This way you will be assured of fresh lettuce until the first frost comes.

Always buy seeds labeled for the current year. This way you can be sure they will sprout. Buy seeds that are leaf or loose leaf lettuce. Always plant a few varieties. Fall crops have to be heat-tolerant to make it through the summer months. The seeds will sprout if you water them every day.

You can even grow lettuce in pots. Just be sure they are large enough. Some lettuces will grow in window boxes that are at least 18 inches long.

Don't wet the seeds too heavily. When they sprout be sure they are kept moist. Use a home-made compost to fertilize the soil. When you mow, add the grass clippings, too. If you mulch heavily, be sure to check the soil every day. Don't let it dry out.

Leaf lettuce has a mild, sweet taste

Romaine [UK: cos. ed] lettuce is more juicy and slightly bitter

Bibb [UK: butterhead. ed] lettuce is light green

Watercress and arugula [UK: rocket. ed] can also be grown and added to your salad

Here is a vinaigrette recipe to use with your freshly grown greens!

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white (or red) wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, oregano or basil
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a jar that closes tightly, combine all ingredients and shake well. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator up to 3 days. Shake well before using. Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing.

57 calories per teaspoon



About the Author Gourmet cook and accomplished author. Visit my websites: www.phyllisrecipes. www.happypettips.com www.medicineestore.com www.earlybirdspecials.info


©2005 Phyllis Wasserman. All rights reserved.

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