So I'm not too fond of bitter greens- but this one is sure a pretty plant!
Beautiful green! It's been in the tunnel all winter waiting to get big enough to harvest- It was the only one that showed promise to see if it would overwinter okay. I sowed some new ones and transplanted them not too long ago- they're half the size of this one. If you fold and tie the outer leaves up and over the inner leaves (blanching) you'll get those nice white leaves you see in salad mixes, which is why I wanted to try it, that and my friend likes it.
I love leaves with a bite to them- a hotness, but as I said I'm not to fond of bitter. I tried growing Arugula and grew to strongly dislike it! Which brings me to a lesson I learned a few years back-
I went out one evening to harvest some lettuce for a salad. I had a huge bed of at least 3 or 4 types of lettuce to choose from. I picked a bunch, washed it, and when I tasted it they were bitter! Every kind was bitter! I was furious because it was such a huge bed- what a waste. I went out the next morning on a rampage- ready to pull everything for the compost heap. I decided to taste everything first and to my surprise nothing was bitter! What? Did I lose my mind or something?
I must have searched every book, every site, asked every 'expert' and garden center I could find- no one had a clue what made lettuce bitter like that, except if they'd been in the ground too long and had gone to seed. These were young plants, and it was early in the season- not hot at all.
Years later, in an obscure gardening pamphlet I found somewhere- there it was. Lettuce can taste bitter if it's picked later in the day when things have had a chance to heat up- Wow! Now I only harvest lettuce or any green before 11 am sometimes 10 am depending on the temperatures first thing in the morning.
Lesson learned- hope this helps someone else!
Happy gardening, eat your greens!