Botanical Name: Assorted Brassica spp., Eruca sativa
Days to Maturity: 21–45 days
Native: Africa and Eurasia
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annuals
Plant Dimensions: Leaves are harvested at 4"–6" tall for mesclun.
Variety Information: ARUGULA (Rocket Salad): Soft, medium green deeply lobed leaves are rich and peppery, with a hint of nut. CHINESE CABBAGE: Leaves are pale green with a thick white rib, and a sweet, mild flavor. JAPANESE SPINACH GREENS: Shiny, smooth, dark green leaves; flavor is described as a cross between mustard and cabbage, with a hint of spinach. MUSTARD, MIZUNA: An upright mound is formed by up to 200 stems of thin, serrated light green leaves; the flavor is slightly peppery, mildly spicy. MUSTARD, GREEN: Large, long, oval bright green leaves, curled on the edges; mild flavor. MUSTARD, RED: Spicy, serrated leaves are red on top, green on the underside. MUSTARD, 'RUBY STREAKS': Mildly pungent, yet sweet, finely serrated leaves ranging in color from dark green with red veins. TATSOI (Bok Choy): Thick, dark green leaves have a milder flavor than western head cabbage.
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 40°F, ideally 60°–70°F. Successive Sowings: Every 3 weeks until 2 weeks before your average first fall frost date. Mild Climates: Sow in fall and winter for cool season harvests.
When to Start Inside: Transplanting is not recommended, although mesclun can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights.
Days to Emerge: 5–14 days
Seed Depth: Surface to ⅛"
Seed Spacing: Broadcast about ½" apart
Thinning: Not required for baby greens
Harvesting: Harvest leaves with scissors 2" above the soil surface. Mesclun will regrow and provide 2–3 harvests, although the first harvest is usually the best. If you wish to harvest mature heads, cut off at 2" above ground level as soon as possible after head forms; new leaves will grow form the center. The earlier the harvest, the more tender the crop.