Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center

Vegetable Research and Extension

Photo collage of watermelon tasting, tractor, dry beans

Baby-leaf Salad Greens

Project Overview

Photo comparison of 10 leafy greens leaves

Baby-leaf salad greens are a popular crop and have the potential to be a viable source of income for small-scale direct-market farmers during the spring and fall seasons. In our project, we evaluated the performance of 10 varieties for baby-leaf salad green production in replicated variety trials at WSU-Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center and at Cloud Mountain Farm Center in Everson, WA. We measured total and marketable yield, days to harvest, and weed weight in the spring and fall for 2 years. Postharvest shelf life of each variety was also evaluated visually (decay, discoloration, wilting, and visual quality) twice per week after harvest.

For an overview of our project, see Evaluating baby-leaf salad greens for spring and fall production in Northwest Washington.

We have summarized all we learned from this project regarding baby-leaf salad production into our new production guide:
Baby-leaf salad green production guide for western Washington. WSU Extension publication EM095E. 23 pages. Published November 2015.

Video: Introduction to Leafy Greens
By Chris Benedict, Regional Extension Specialist, Washington State University Extension, and Tom Thornton, Cloud Mountain Farm Center.


 

Variety List

Our trial includes the leafy green crops kale (Brassica oleracea), arugula (Eruca sativa), pac choi (Brassica rapa, s. chinensis), and mustard greens (Brassica juncea). Specific varieties are listed here. The inclusion of seed suppliers is not meant to endorse any of these businesses or detract from any businesses not listed.

Varieties planted at Cloud Mountain Farm Center in Everson and WSU NWREC in Mount Vernon.

 

Photo of arugula greens Photo of beet greens

Arugula: Adagio*

Description: Strong flavor with a dark green leaf. Marketed as resistant to premature bolting.

Supplier: Osborne Seed Company. Mount Vernon, WA.

Beet Greens: Bull’s Blood

Description: Heirloom variety suitable for salad or micro-greens. Roots are also edible.

Supplier: Johnny’s Select Seed. Waterville, ME.

   
Photo of kale greens Photo of lettuce: Brown Goldring

Kale: Winter Red

Description: Russian-type kale with thin, tender leaves suitable for salad.

Supplier: Wild Garden Seed Company. Philomath, OR.

Lettuce: Brown Goldring

Description: Sweet, compact cos lettuce. Marketed as heat-tolerant.

Supplier: Wild Garden Seed Company. Philomath, OR.

   
Photo of lettuce: Flashy Trout's Back Photo of mustard greens: Bekana

Lettuce: Flashy Trout’s Back

Description: Dark green, compact cos. Marketed as cold-tolerant.

Supplier: Johnny’s Select Seed. Waterville, ME.

Mustard Greens: Bekana*

Description: Mild, light green leaves. Marketed as cold-tolerant.

Supplier: Wild Garden Seed Company. Philomath, OR.

   
Photo of mustard greens: Komatsuna Photo of mustard greens: Yukina Savoy

Mustard Greens: Komatsuna*

Description: Glossy, round leaves, upright growth habit. Marketed as heat-tolerant.

Supplier: Osborne Seed Company. Mount Vernon, WA.

Mustard Greens: Yukina Savoy*

Description: Thick, heavily savoyed dark green leaves. Marketed as heat and cold-tolerant.

Supplier: Osborne Seed Company. Mount Vernon, WA.

   
Photo of pac choi: Joi Choi Photo of Spinach: El Real

Pac Choi: Joi Choi

Description: F1 hybrid for harvest at multiple stages of development. Marketed as resistant to premature bolting and cold.

Supplier: Osborne Seed Company. Mount Vernon, WA.

Spinach: El Real

Description: F1 hybrid smooth, dark green spinach. Fast-growing with an upright habit.

Supplier: Osborne Seed Company. Mount Vernon, WA.

Publications

Baby-leaf salad green production guide for western Washington. WSU Extension publication EM095E. 23 pages. Published November 2015.

Growing baby-leaf salad greens in the spring and fall seasons in Whatcom County. Whatcom Ag Monthly newsletter Volume 2 Issue 12. Published December 2013. Washington State University Whatcom County Extension. 4 pages.

Production of baby-leaf salad greens in the spring and fall seasons of northwest Washington. Grahn, C., C. Benedict, T. Thornton and C. Miles. 2015. HortScience 50(10):1467-1471.

Screening USDA Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) germplasm for ability to germinate under cold conditions. Grahn, C., B. Hellier, C. Benedict, and C. Miles. 2015. HortScience 50(8):1155-1159.

 

Our pages provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. WSU Extension does not manage these external sites, nor does Extension review, control, or take responsibility for the content of these sites. These external sites do not implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

WSU Mount Vernon NWREC, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon, WA 98273-4768 USA, 360-848-6150, FAX 360-848-6159, Contact Us