Farmer-Led Research Explores Overwintering Salad Greens

Practical Farmers of Iowa released a report on farmer-led research titled Overwintered Salad Greens Variety Trial. Farmers Hannah Breckbill and Emily Fagan of Humble Hands Harvest and Jon Yagla of The Millet Seed farm seeded more than 15 different varieties of salad greens and compared germination and survival rates to determine which were most cold-tolerant for overwintering. At Breckbill and Fagan’s, cilantro (var. Leisure) and kale (var. Red Russian) exhibited the greatest germination rates – 83% and 65%, respectively. For about half of Yagla’s varieties, germination rates hovered at or above 75%. Complete results are available online. In the report, Jon Yagla commented, “I hope to have a better understanding of which greens, besides spinach and cilantro, overwinter well in Iowa. This will help with early greens production without the use of expensive high tunnels and living roots in the soil for longer periods of time, which is a goal for improved soil health.”