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About Dutch Corn Salad: Dutch Corn Salad, commonly known as lamb's lettuce, dates from the Stone Age lake dwellings in Switzerland. In 17th century England and France, corn salad was highly valued since it could thrive in the cold when other greens would freeze. Known in France as "mache," records show that the gardeners of Louis XIV cultivated it in his personal gardens. This tender, nutty spring salad green first became popular in America in the 1970s when a grower in the Salinas Valley of California began producing it; following this time it became quite popular in salad mixes.
Dutch Corn Salad Germination: Because Dutch Corn Salad grows best in cool weather, sowing it in the spring or fall brings the best results; a late August or September planting results in both fall and spring growth. Direct sow in full sun and rich soil 1/2" deep and 1" apart in rows 8-10" apart. For smaller plants, space them 1/2" apart. Germination should take place within 10-14 days, but will not occur if the soil temperature rises above 70 degrees F. Plant a new crop every 2 weeks for a continual harvest. In climates with winters above 5 degrees F, Dutch Corn Salad will produce greens all winter long; colder climates can grow it with the protection of a cold frame or mulch.
Growing Dutch Corn Salad Seeds: A layer of mulch will help conserve necessary moisture and control weeds. Watch out for snails and slugs, which will damage the plants.
Harvesting Dutch Corn Salad: The first leaves should be ready to harvest in 10-12 weeks. Harvest individual leaves as needed, or harvest the entire rosette by cutting it at the soil level. Young leaves about 3" have the best taste and tenderness; when the plant begins to send up a stalk, the entire plant should be harvested since the leaves will begin to grow bitter. For new growth, leave at least an inch of stem above the soil. Corn salad keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Saving Dutch Corn Salad Seeds: When the seed pods begin to ripen to a light brown, pull the entire plant and spread it out to dry in a protected location out of direct sunlight. When the pods have completely dried, shake the seeds out. Store them in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Dutch Corn Salad Info: Valerianella olitoria. Also known as Lamb's Lettuce, Field Salad, Mache, Feldsalat, Dutch Broad Leaved Corn Salad. Annual. 50-60 days. Zone 5-11. 15,600 seed per oz. 12-18" height. 1" spacing. Produces loose rosettes of spoon shaped, medium green leaves.
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