What is Mesclun
- Mesclun is a mixed salad of young green leaves.
- The idea is to create a salad with a good balance of strong and mild flavoured greens.
- Often Mesclun contains a mixture of leaves from lettuce, endive, chicory, frisee, spinach, sorrel, swiss chard, mustard, arugula, radicchio and or chervil.
- Mesclun is best when harvested as tender young leaves.
- For extra flavor some people add herbs like thyme and oregano to the mix.
- I think 4 different leaves are enough to make a good Mesclun with no one flavour or texture dominating the others.
How to Grow Mesclun
- Grow from seed and cut the leaves as you need them. Many will work as cut and come again micro salad leaves.
- Salad leaves are mostly water and so you need a soil that is open but water retentive. I have found miracle grow compost has worked well this year.
- Water regularly but remember soggy leaves will not be appetising.
- I grow in containers and grow bags to leave open ground for more robust crops.
- Seeds are ready to crop from 30-40 days as sweet young leaves.
- Sow at 2 weekly intervals for regular supplies. Germination is best in cool spring and autumn temperatures.
How to Harvest Mesclun
- When leaves are at least 4” tall you can start cutting.
- Collect mixed leaves in a basket or bowl and snip with a pair of scissors.
- Gently hold a clump of leaves with one hand while cutting with the other. Leave 1”–2” of leafy crowns on the plants so they can regrow for another harvest.
- You should get 2 or 3 crops from each plant.
Gardeners Tips and Comments
- Aim for a mix of sweet and stronger leaves.
- A mix with yellow and red leaves as well as green can look attractive and we eat with our eyes first.
- Mesclun may have originated in France but good gardeners can improve on French attempts at a salad.