At the beginning of April I ordered the mesclun winter greens seed mix from King Seeds.
I prepared 3 pots and 2 buckets with soil and some compost, and sprinkled the whole packet between the different pots. I put them out on the edge of the verandah - so they would get some rain - and waited.
I was thinking of the term 'microgreens' and I expected the growth to edible size a lot sooner. By mid-May so approximately 6-7 weeks later, I had pots of low greenery but they looked like weeds.
I was disappointed with the whole mesclun idea. I had successfully grown 3 pots and 2 buckets of little weeds. My one optimistic thought was the uniformity of what was growing in all the pots, perhaps it was the beginnings of a salad after all.
Before I pulled them all out in disgust, I regoogled the seed mix. It has arugula, miner's lettuce and minutina in it.
So I googled each of those separately. It was then that I realised what I thought was grass was actually very young minutina. I plucked some pieces and had a taste. They were definitely flavoured in the green salad genre - fresh, not bitter and not grassy.
This is what the different leaves look like when small:
|Arugula (Diplotaxis tenuifolia)|
These pots have been excellent. Now I know they are mostly my salad greens, I can pick out the few weeds in the pots. I clip the salad greens with scissors, as much as I need for a particular meal, and then it grows back in between.
We have used the mesclun greens together with some pepper, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil for a quick side salad, in sandwiches with cheese and homemade chutney, and on top of an omelet made from our chickens' eggs.
Based on the success of winter mesclun greens, summer ones will be added to the seed selection. Mesclun is a funny word. It is French for mixture, this is really one of the old salad ideas possibly back from Roman times. Mine should include flowers and more herbs as well to give it variety in flavour. Next time, I think I will include rocket, perhaps some mustard greens and add some edible flowers too like violets and nasturtiums. I like the idea of putting together the leaves to create the flavours pepper or mustard dressings would add to the salad. I will have to wait until we have finished eating the winter mesclun.