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Heat Tolerant Greens

As summer temperatures rise our lettuce, spinach and other greens tend to fade from our gardens. Take heart, there are a few greens suited to the summer garden.

Black seeded Simpson, oakleaf blend and red sails are a few leaf-lettuce cultivars that stand up to the summer heat.

Malabar climbing spinach, although not a true spinach, has a buttery, nutty spinach-like flavor. Use it fresh, as a wrap for sandwiches or in stir fries.

New Zealand spinach is another plant that shares the common name and flavor but is not a true spinach. Eat the small leaves raw or cooked.

Many of the mustards like Red Giant and Florida Broadleaf will tolerate summer heat, while adding a bit of zip to your meals.  Or try the mild flavored All-America Selections winner, Red Kingdom Mizuna. Use mustard greens pickled, raw, wilted or in salads.

A bit more information:  Swiss chard, kale and orach are a few more heat tolerant greens.  Orach prefers cooler temperatures but does not go to seed as quickly as spinach. Harvest young leaves for the best spinach-like flavor.