Fresh & Bright Spring Salad with Chive Buttermilk Dressing
Dressing Adapted from 101cookbooks.com
Looking for a couple of ways to celebrate the arrival of spring? First, try this Fresh and Bright Spring Salad with Chive Buttermilk Dressing. Then pay a visit to Lafayette Greens and take in the delightful weather!
How to water plants
How to harvest tomatoes
How to harvest cucumbers
How to harvest beans
How to harvest and prune basil
Why to avoid walking on beds
How to extend your growing season
Where we buy seeds
- The time of day. The ideal times are in the morning and evening. During the heat of the day, much of the water is evaporated by the hot summer sun, making it difficult for water to get to the roots.
- Water plants below the foliage. Water resting on the leaves and fruits can cause disease. Instead, water the soil, aiming for the roots of the plant. Gently pull aside foliage and fruits that may be in the way. Some plants (such as lettuce), however, like to have moisture on the leaves. These can be gently misted.
- Be careful not to overwater. Check the wetness of the soil before watering.
Use your senses and observe your plants closely when watering!
- When ripe, grab the tomato firmly and twist to remove it from the vine.
- Using clippers or pruners can help with this, especially with very ripe and delicate fruits that may not withstand a firm squeezing.
- Once the tomato is off the vine, remove the green stem, as this can puncture and bruise other tomatoes harvested in the same bin or container.
- Cucumbers can be harvested either by pinching with your fingers or by using pruners and scissors. Either way, be sure to leave a small, one-inch section of stem attached to the cucumber, as it helps prevent rotting in storage.
- It is best to harvest one bean at a time, as they are brittle and can easily break in half.
- To harvest the whole bean, pinch or cut beans off of a bush or vine, leaving a small stem on the bean. This helps to preserve the beans in storage.
- The best method to keep basil very full is to pinch back to the top two leaves or to where two branches intersect. At these points, the basil plant will generate fresh new leaves and growth.
- Be sure to remove any flower buds immediately; in fact, try not to let the basil flower at all!
- Flowering causes the leaves to taste bitter and diminishes production of the basil plant.
- Pinch the leaves regularly to encourage growth, fullness and shape. This will help you enjoy more fully this wonderful herb in your culinary endeavors!
- Walking on garden beds compresses the soil, squeezing out air.
- Because of this, when we step on beds, plant roots must work much harder to maneuver and grow, and must survive with less air.
- Also, when walking on beds, it is easy to injure or destroy the vegetables and fruits planted there.
How to extend your growing season:
Extending your growing season allows you to take advantage of fresh, homegrown produce earlier in the spring and later in the fall. It may even allow you to grow throughout the winter.
- Creating low tunnels is the technique of arching hoops of metal or PVC pipe over the width of your bed, and covering the bent structure with an agricultural row cover, such as agribon. This row cover serves to retain heat, protecting baby transplants from frost. It also serves as a barrier which limits pests.
- To further extend the season, use a nursery or greenhouse plastic and lay it on top of the row cover to create baby greenhouses over the beds.