July 23, 2012

Help needed!

In the coming fall and spring I'll be looking in depth at the growth rate of six greens throughout the season.  The list includes: mizuna, tokyo bekana, tatsoi, spinach, and green romaine lettuce.  I need help picking the sixth variety. Here are the options: 

Scarlet frills: red, curly leaves, from the brassica family,
has a mustard-y flavor that can be a bit spicy when weather is warm.
Red russian kale: Also a brassica, known for being cold weather hardy, 
usually grown for mature leaves (not baby size for salads).

What do you think?  Are there other varieties you think should be on the list?  Leave me a comment (via facebook or the little pencil on the actual post) or send an email.  I can see how many people view the post so I know when you're not replying!  It's for science!

(I will be doing a variety trial of 20 greens once in the fall and once in the spring to look at lesser known varieties like vitamin green and tatsai.)


  1. These seem like two good choices to balance out your list. The Scarlet Frills useful primarily for winter salad mixes while the Red Russian kale can be sued both as a salad or cooking green, so it would depend on what your criteria is... My vote is for the kale — there's crazy demand for it at the Winter Farmers' Market! We've been trying out Fun Jen for the first time this year, a really interesting, tasty green. It's been catching on with home gardeners, fairly under radar for market production. Kitazawa has it listed as a hybrid, Fedco says it's open-pollinated, both have seeds for it.

    1. You've captured the key benefits of both greens perfectly! I saw the fun jen you're growing and am going to try it out this fall. It looks a lot like toyko bekana and I wonder if it will behave the same way. In fall, once it gets dark out, tokyo bekana totally stops growing, unlike most other greens which seem to at least grow a little tiny bit.

    2. Thanks for pointing out the Tokyo Bekana, very similar indeed! Here's a gardener's post about growing both: http://www.ourhappyacres.com/2011/06/june-salads-and-herbs/