3 Salad Plants That Can Survive Frost
by Nicole Burke, Owner of Gardenary
Growing a salad garden can be tricky because of the timing.
For the most part, salad grows best in a fairly cool environment-generally between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. But the problem is that few climates hold their own inside this range.
Oftentimes, when the daytime temperatures are in the 50’s or 60’s, the nighttime temperatures might dip well below freezing, depending on where you live.
So, what’s an aspiring kitchen gardener like you to do?
Grow frost-proof salad plants, of course.
Here’s the secret:
The more ‘savoy’ (or bumpy) the leaves, the more likely the plant can last through frost or freezing weather. And the less savoy (or the softer) the leaves, the more likely the plant won’t survive cold dips in the temperature.
So, when in doubt, think about the texture of the leaf you’re growing. And if it seems tougher and bumpier, it’s much more likely to hang in there when the going gets cold.
Here are a few of our favorite frost-proof salad plants.
Red Russian Kale is one of our absolute favorites in the garden. And truth be told, this variety is maybe one of the least frost-tolerant of the kale family but it can still hang in there. Almost all kales, especially if their leaves are more mature by the time the frost hits, will survive a frost and even taste sweeter as a result. I think that deserves a, ‘kale yeah,’ right?
Mustard plants generally fare well in cold weather too. Thinner leaved mustards like Arugula and Mizuna will likely wilt and not survive the frost. But, large leaved mustard varieties like this Purple Osaka, the Florida Broadleaf and others will wilt a bit under the weight of the frost but should perk back up as soon as the sun comes out.
Wait, what? Broccoli? This post is about salad greens.
Right. And this is about broccoli leaves, eaten as greens, rather than the flower head. Believe it or not, all those leaves surrounding your broccoli plant are edible (and so good for you too). And the best news? They’ll hold up even stronger than some of the kales and mustards when the garden gets cold. Like kale, broccoli gets sweeter with a cold snap. So, as soon as the ice melts, go out and snap some broccoli leaves, chop them up and sautee with some avocado oil. You’ve heard of a warm salad before, right?
Whoever said broccoli was boring obvi never tasted the leaves.
So, there you have it. No more excuses to wait till there’s no chance of frost before beginning your salad garden this year.
Just look for the bumpy, I mean, ‘savoy,’ leaves and you’ll be sneaking out in the cold weather to harvest a salad that will make you feel all warm and toasty inside.
And by the way, I teach you different salad varieties that grow in every single season inside of Salad School. Click the button below to learn more and find out about my awesome free workshop.