How to Grow Garden Greens


Green leafy vegetables are popular garden vegetables. Whether used in salads or cooked, fresh garden greens are more fresh and flavorful than most supermarket greens. Popular greens include spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, collard and endive. Mustard greens, arugula and various Asian greens are also popular and use growing techniques similar to those of common garden greens.

Step 1

Sow your green leafy vegetables in the spring as soon as you can work the soil or just after the last expected frost, depending on your local climate zone.

Step 2

Break up and work your soil with a shovel, hoe and rake. If you have access to a rototiller, it can make preparing the soil much easier.

Step 3

Mound the soil into rows between 18 and 30 inches apart. Mounding the soil will help shed excess water and will visually help you identify weeds growing between the rows.

Step 4

Plant the seeds between 1/4 and 1/2 inch deep, depending on the greens. Check the seed packet for suggested planting depth. If you aren't sure, plant the seeds about 1/3 inch deep. Over-plant the seeds in case some don't germinate.

Step 5

Thin the rows once the plants are growing. Bib lettuce, collard, loose leaf lettuce, kale and endive should be thinned to allow 8 to 12 inches between the plants. Swiss chard should have 4 to 6 inches between plants. Spinach needs 2 to 4 inches between plants.

Step 6

Water your greens with at least 1 inch of water per week. Water is critical to good greens production.

Step 7

Add 2 to 3 inches of natural mulch around your greens once they have reached 4 inches tall. This will help the soil to retain water.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Water
  • Mulch


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Growing Leafy Greens in Minnesota Home Gardens
  • Colorado State University Extension: Spicy Greens for Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • Mosaic News Magazine: Growing Some Green
Keywords: growing lettuce, growing leafy greens, leafy green gardens

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.