California is the primary producer of spinach in the United States, with the main hotspot located in the Salinas Valley on California’s Central Coast. For growers who specialize in green leaves and vegetables, new seed varieties could offer a competitive edge in growing leafy greens while increasing resistance to pests and disease. Discover 16 exciting varieties of leafy greens to add to your vegetable lineup.
Seeing as California has the monopoly on spinach, we’ll start with some recommended varieties. These kinds of spinach offer a range of hues, are quick-to-harvest, and resistant to downy mildew.
Frontier F1, by Enza Zaden USA, Inc.
Frontier F1 is a spinach variety that is suitable for growing in Coastal California over the transition and winter season. The medium-to-fast growing green leaves on these vegetables offer excellent yields and grow upright, allowing for easier harvesting. It has long oval leaves and medium green coloring. Frontier F1 has high resistance to downy mildew types 1-17.
Seaside, by Sakata Seed America and Rupp Seeds
Seaside is a baby spinach variety that’s ideal for use in spring mixes and salads. This variety grows in 25 to 30 days from seedlings or 35 to 40 days if sown via direct seeding. Seaside grows upright and produces thick, dark-green, spade-like leaves. It displays excellent resistance to downy mildew.
Acadia F1, by Enza Zaden USA, Inc., Vitalis Organic Seeds, and Harris Seeds/Garden Trends Inc.
Acadia F1 is a semi-savoy organic spinach variety that grows well in spring, summer, and fall. This variety has a dark green coloring and medium, oval leaves. Acadia F1 is slow-maturing, reaching harvest readiness in 45 days. The green leaves on these vegetables are tolerant to bolting and have a high resistance to downy mildew varieties 1-13, 15, and 16.
Now, we’ll look at some lettuce varieties to consider when growing leafy greens. At the present, romaine and cos varieties are gaining popularity, so we’ve included some of these in the list.
Darkland cos is a very dark-green romaine variety of lettuce that produces large-sized, full heads with a sweet flavor. The green leaves on these vegetables have strong bolting tolerance with moderate resistance to downy mildew. For compact “heart shapes,” plant 6” to 8” apart.
This is a more recent variety of lettuce, bred from a cross of ‘Darkland’ and PI 491224. Compared to Darkland cos, SM09B has a greater resistance to dieback and disease and a slightly longer shelf life. The radius of this variety is a little smaller but it has a higher total weight.
Marvel of Four Seasons
Marvel of Four Seasons is a colorful lettuce variety with burgundy outer leaves and cream and soft pink in the interior. This red butter lettuce variety is easy to grow and produces a reliable crop. The green leaves on these vegetables grow best in the cool season and are ready to harvest in 45 days.
Spring Mix Favorites
Spring mix is typically sold in a packet as a ready-to-use salad solution. Here are a few green leafy vegetables to consider for convenience-loving, health-conscious customers.
Miz America, by Sakata Seeds America and Rupp Seeds
Miz America is a deep-red colored baby leaf mustard that’s ideal for use in spring mix and salads. This red mizuna hybrid grows in 20 to 25 days from seed and grows upright for ease of harvest. The taste of this mustard is pleasant and not spicy. Definitely worth considering when growing leafy greens.
Carina, by Seedway, LLC
Carina is a robust dandelion variety with thick, dark-green leaves that have a slightly wavy appearance. This variety is slow bolting and the ribs are flexible, making this an easier variety to pack. Carina dandelion leaves will grow in cool to hot conditions.
Fresh Pak, by Sakata Seed American and Rupp Seeds
Fresh Pak is a variety of baby leaf beet with dark-green leaves and contrasting dark-red petioles. The green leaves on these vegetables have clear veins that make them very attractive for use in baby leaf and spring mix salads. Fresh Pak has a high resistance to downy mildew, type 1, and intermediate resistance to Cercospora leaf spot. It matures in 25 to 35 days.
Fire Fresh, by Sakata Seed America and Rupp Seeds
Fire Fresh is a baby leaf Swiss chard variety with a premium disease package and a moderate-to-fast growth rate. The medium dark-green leaves contrast with the bright red petioles for a splash of color in spring mix or baby leaf salads. Fire Fresh leaves have a round-oval shape and grow uprate for ease of harvest.
Kale Yeah! By Osborne Quality Seeds
This is a mix of vegetables with green leaves that features several leaf shapes and colors. It’s an ideal variety for microgreen, baby leaf, and teen leaf growers. Harvesting at the teen stage is ideal for a mild braising mix that can be packaged on its own or combined with other baby leaf varieties.
Rainbow Blend, by Seeds by Design
If you’re involved (or interested) in microgreens production, Rainbow Blend is another strong contender with its variety of beautiful colors. This easy-grow mix matures in 25 days and is used as-is or mixed with other microgreens.
Assorted Vegetables with Green Leaves
The list of possibilities when you’re growing leafy greens really is endless, with new varieties constantly on the rise. Here are some varieties of popular greens to consider for the growing season.
Binde, by Syngenta and Gowan Seed Company
Binde is a new variety of curled endive that can be grown all year round. This versatile endive is resistant to both bolting in the cold season and burns in the hot season and grows upright with straight ribs. Binde has somewhat curled leaves and matures in 87 days — an excellent addition to your collection of vegetables with green leaves.
Forbes, by Syngenta Vegetable Seeds
For your winter crop, Forbes is a high-yielding endive variety that is suited to low temperatures. This high-weight endive has broad leaves, a well-filled heart, and is self-whitening. It is tolerant to bolting and matures in 90 to 110 days for an early harvest.
Dazzling Blue, Wild Garden Seed, and Harris Seeds Organic
Dazzling Blue is a lacinato kale variety with a vivid blue leaf and pink mid-rib veins. This winter-hardy variety can be grown into the winter to extend your season and matures in 30 days for the baby leaf or 60 days for the full-size leaf.
Asian Delight, Seed Solutions of America, and Johnny’s Selected Seeds
For our final green-leaf vegetable, we have a mini white-stemmed pak choi. This Asian-inspired cultivar offers compact mini heads with attractive dark-green leaves. Asian Delight is adapted to a long harvesting season, is slow bolting, and can be produced both indoors and outdoors.
Partner with Fruit Growers Supply for Growing Leafy Greens with Success
Fruit Growers Supply Company initially started out as a packaging company for California-grown fruit. However, over the years, we’ve expanded to offer niche solutions for row-crop growers as well. Backed by over a century of industry experience, we’ve developed crop-specific irrigation and packaging solutions, environmentally responsible pallets, and opened five full-service stores with an extensive range of agricultural supplies.
To find out more about our services for green leaf vegetable growers, give us a call or visit us in-store.