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Leafy Greens - Varieties


Leafy Green Vegetables are relatively easy to grow. They come from several different crop families and include the lettuces (bibb/Boston/butterhead, leaf, iceberg, romaine, etc.); spinach (flat leaf and savoy); Aster family (endive, escarole, radicchio); Brassica crops (arugula, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens); and other leaf crops like Swiss chard, beet greens and parsleys. Various mixtures of green leafy vegetables (“mesclun”) and immature “baby greens” are also very popular.

Leafy Green Mixes (also called mesclun mix, baby greens, or spring mixes) are an assortment of leafy greens harvested in the seedling stage (plants 3 to 4 weeks old). The mixes consist of 5 to 7 types of leafy greens including leaf lettuce and non-lettuce greens from the Brassica or Aster family of crops.

Leafy green crops are mostly cool-season vegetables that grow best in the spring and fall, but there are many heat-tolerant varieties for summer plantings. Many leafy green crops are successfully grown in unheated greenhouses or high tunnels from late January to March and then again from October to December. For cool-weather or winter production, it is best to grow the most cold-hardy greens such as spinach, arugula, kale, and selected Brassicas.

Due to the large variety of types and cultivars, spend some time identifying local consumer desires. The following lists are illustrative only and do not include all of the wide varieties available. Very few of the varieties listed have been tested in the local marketplace. Most if not all can be grown locally, but some may have better adaption to the variety of climatic and environmental conditions found throughout Utah.

Leafy Green Variety Suggestions (mostly untested) for commonly grown leafy greens

Plant Family & Common Name Varieties (limited list)
Asters: Endive Bianca Riccia, Frisan, Lorca, Rhodos
  Escarole Eros, Natacha, Salanca
  Radicchio Fiero, Indigo, Palla Rossa, Rossa di Treviso Precoce
Beet Greens Boldor, Chioggia, Merlin, Pacemaker III, Red Ace
Brassicas: Arugula Astro, Roquette, Speedy,  Sylvetta
  Collards Champion, Flash, Hi Crop, Flash
  Kale Red Russian, Redbor, Rogue, Starbor, Winterbor
  Mustard Dragon Tongue, Green Wave,  Spicy Green,  Scarlet Frills
Lettuce: Bibb  Adriana, Carmona, Red Cross, Rex, Optima, Speckles
  Cos Fusion, Outredgeous, Salvius, Winter Density 
  Iceberg Crispino, Crusader, Heatmaster, Superior I
  Leaf Defender, Encico, Revolution, Salad Bowl, Tango
Spinach Bloomsdale, Emperor, Regiment, Renegade, Space,
Swiss Chard  Bright Lights, Fordhook Giant, Oriole, Rhubarb