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How to Grow Claytonia

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How to Grow Claytonia

How To Grow Claytonia

Claytonia is also known as winter purslane or miners lettuce, it tastes quite like spinach and is full of vitamin C. The two types of purslane are quite distinct. Winter purslane or miners' lettuce, Montia perfoliata, is a tough, cold resistant salading for growing in the open to crop from October until spring. Summer purslane, Portulaca oleracea, is a succulent, half hardy annual grown for use throughout the summer.

Seed should be sown in shallow drills during July or August, choosing a slightly shaded site, and the plants should be kept moist until that task is taken over by the winter rains. Always water the drill thoroughly before sowing. The seedlings should be thinned to leave them 2-3 inches (5-7cm) apart. The leaves can be cut individually for salads as soon as they are large enough. Some books say they can be lightly boiled or steamed if you prefer. Continue harvesting the leaves until the plant starts to flower in spring. Seeds can also be sown in spring - but the plant's greatest value is as a winter salading when there is little else in the garden.

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