Our cold, wet spring stunted my strawberry crop. My spicy mustard greens loved it. Spicy mustard greens are a fantastic choice if you want to grow greens organically.

The bugs in our area hate spicy. I picked beautiful greens with no chew holes all spring. No nasty pesticides are required.

Mustard Greens

Wasabina, as in spicy like Wasabi, is the seed I used. It’s tangy when used in a salad, but the spice level decreases if you saute or boil it. Greens of any type are healthy, not expensive, and recipes abound.

What are some of the healthiest greens to add to your diet? Kale, spinach, collard greens, cabbage, and romaine lettuce make the top of most lists. They’re available at most grocery stores if you can’t grow them yourself.


Kale is not my favorite green. But it’s so healthy I buy it frequently. Like mustard greens, kale likes cooler weather, so plant in the spring or fall.

If you live in a mild climate, like me, you may be able to grow kale year round. Kale will attract aphids, black rot, cabbage worms, and flea beetles. To reduce pest problems, don’t crowd plants, overwater, or let weeds grow around them. Soup is a delicious way to use kale.


Spinach is low in calories but loaded with nutrients. Not only that, but you can use it to make salads, soups, casseroles, and smoothies. I’m fond of baby spinach, out of the package, ready to steam on top of fish.

It loves cool weather, so plant in early spring and fall in a sunny location. Like kale, give spinach plants lots of room, don’t crowd them. Unfortunately, spinach attracts more bugs than kale, like aphids, downy mildew, leaf miners, leaf spot, and blight.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are not just for southern cooking. An all-purpose green, low in calories but loaded with nutrients, like spinach. I’ve never tried them in a salad, although they’re less bitter than kale.

I used them in soups and sauteed them with other veggies. Most cooks usually remove the tough rib in the center unless the recipe calls for it to remain. Their mild flavor adds a nice touch to any dish.


Cabbage, cultivated for thousands of years, can be used in many ways. You can use it in soups, saute it or make cole slaw. I’m a fan of sauerkraut, too, which is excellent for your digestion.

Like other greens, it’s low in calories and loaded with nutrients. I especially like its high fiber content. It helps lower your cholesterol, too.

Cabbage is not easy to grow. Like the other greens above, it prefers cool temperatures and a sunny location. Pests love it to death.

Cabbage requires lots of fertilizer and water. I’m inclined to purchase rather than grow. It’s readily available and inexpensive in most stores.


Romaine lettuce is one of the most popular lettuce in the US. I never thought of it as particularly healthy. It turns out it’s got more minerals for bone health than iceberg and a Vitamin A content similar to spinach.

Romaine can be grilled, used in salads, or sauteed. Like most greens, romaine prefers cooler temperatures, but it’s the most tolerant of the heat of all the six greens. It’s cleaner than other lettuces as it grows upright.

It’s easy to grow. You can plant it directly in your garden. Romaine requires frequent fertilizing and seeding in a raised bed, or a pot will discourage slugs and snails.

Healthy greens are yummy in all sorts of recipes. Go ahead and experiment. You won’t be disappointed.


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