Growing Crops: Corn Salad

Also called Lamb’s Lettuce, Mache or Rapunzel, this cold-hardy green helps make it possible to enjoy salad year-round. The flavor is quite mild.

Best Climate to Grow: Spring and Fall cooler weather. As long as it is protected it can survive early Spring and late Fall frosts. Can be grown through the winter in climates with mild winters that don’t go below 25 degrees F.

Light Requirements: Lots of sun during the cool season; light shading will help protect it from the heat of late Spring/early Summer and late Summer/early Fall days.

Soil Requirements: Light soil that retains moisture.

Feeding and Water Requirements: Soil must be kept moist at all times. Drip irrigation combined with mulching is ideal for maintaining moisture.

When to Plant: Early Spring and 6-8 weeks before the first frost during the Fall. Corn salad does not transplant well, so do not start the seeds indoors. Plant in 1-week intervals to avoid a glut of corn salad all at once.

Planting Depth and Spacing: Plant seeds directly in the ground, ½ inch deep. If planting in rows, make the rows 1 foot apart and thin the plants to 6 inches apart. If broadcasting, thin to 6 inches apart in all directions.

Container Requirements: Any container or windowbox at least 4 inches deep will do. Corn salad is ideal for container gardeners.

Harvesting and Storage: Snip off the rosettes just below the soil, or you can harvest the individual leaves. You will need to rinse the greens very well, as they collect soil due to how close they grow to the ground. Corn salad will keep for several days in the refrigerator, if rinsed and kept moist by wrapping it in paper towels in the vegetable crisper section or storing in a lettuce keeper. Best eaten fresh.

Seed Harvesting: Allow your corn salad to bolt (it will bolt naturally once the weather turns warm), wait for the seed pods to appear, and then stop irrigating to let them dry up. Once they are dry, harvest the flowers and take them insides. Put the seeds in a clean, dry glass jar (now would be a good time to start saving any glass jars you may have, such as jams and jellies, pickles, spices, etc.) with the seed name and the date harvested, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place.

Pests to Monitor: Flea beetles, slugs, and snails. Visit our pest control beneficials, barriers, scare tactics, homemade organic pesticide, and commercial organic pesticide pages to see your options and choose your weapons.

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