Although this salad green is not well known, it is very tasty and grows well in cooler climates, making it a perfect addition to your fall, early spring or even a winter garden.
It is also referred to as miner’s lettuce. The name comes from the 1849 gold rush of California where claytonia was used as fresh salad greens.
Here is how you can add claytonia, this tasty salad green, to your home vegetable garden.
Like most other vegetables claytonia prefers a neutral soil pH. Test your soil and adjust accordingly to a pH level of 6.5 to 7.0. You can pick a pH soil testing kit at any home or garden center for a few bucks.
Claytonia likes a cool environment. The seeds are best when planted in soil where the temperature is fifty to fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit, although can with stand up to sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit, which makes claytonia the perfect fall, winter and early spring vegetable for the backyard.
Sow the seeds to a depth no deeper than 1/4″. The seeds are fairly small and planting them too deep will make it difficult if not impossible for them to push through the top soil.
Give your claytonia the opportunity to grow and thrive by spacing them out at eight inches apart. This gives the roots a chance to grow deep and spread out without having to compete for nutrients from a neighboring claytonia.
Claytonia requires full sun, but can also grow in partial shade. Give your claytonia a moderate to even watering, and if you are growing it in a cold frame over the winter months, reduce it to a light watering.
As soon as the leaves are of an edible size you can begin to harvest them. Simply cut the leaves off. The plant will continue to grow and produce. If you forget to pick some of the leaves a flower will eventually form. Do not worry as the flower is also edible and makes a nice addition to a salad as well.
Other salad greens make for good companions to claytonia there are no listed bad companion plants, but you should avoid crop rotation with radicchio, endive, escarole and artichokes.