Learn how to grow mache (corn salad) in this informative mache growing guide. Also called lamb’s lettuce, it is a cool season crop and doesn’t require much care.
USDA Zones— 4 or higher
Other Names— Valerianella locusta, corn salad, common cornsalad, lamb’s lettuce,, mâche, fetticus, feldsalat, nut lettuce, field salad, rapunzel, doucette, raiponce, Nüsslisalat, Nüssler
What is Mache
Mache is a biennial plant that has elongated or rounded rosette leaves. An undemanding plant, it doesn’t not request for a worked ground and does not require much maintenance. Moreover, it is treated like a weed.
Growing Mache from Seeds
The cultivation of corn salad can be done by direct sowing of seeds (broadcasting) in rows. Keep the distance of 6 – 8 inches between each plant and sow seeds 1/2 inch deep. At a temperature of 40 – 70 F (5 – 20 C). The seeds will germinate in about 7 – 20 days. Sowing can be carried out in the period between early spring to fall (autumn), considering a life of the plant, which is about 2-3 months.
*If the temperature doesn’t fall below -5 F in your zone you can also grow mache in fall for an early spring harvest.
How to Grow Mache (Corn Salad) in a Pot
Mache grows well in deep and large pots or planter. Sowing takes place at the same time as for planting on the ground.
- Fill the container with an organic potting mix.
- Tamp the soil firmly.
- Sow seeds.
- Sprinkle more soil to cover the seeds 1/2 inch deep.
- Sprinkle water with a sprayer.
Requirements for Growing Mache
Mache is a cool season crop, it can withstand temperature down to -5 F (-20 C). Optimum seed germination temperature of mache falls in the range of 50 – 70 F, it is a plant that resists the cold and that is why it can be grown practically all year.
When it comes to soil it is an undemanding plant, still it prefers healthy soil that is light, well-drained and rich in organic matter.
Water regularly in the early morning if exposed to full sun, more frequent watering is required.
It is a low maintenance plant. Growing mache is somewhat similar to lettuce and requires no special care or maintenance. However, there are a few basic needs you need to fulfill.
The growing cycle of the plant is so short thus it requires no fertilizer during cultivation. If your soil is poor, add plenty of well-rotted compost or manure before planting, which is sufficient for healthy growth.
For lush and healthy plants, weed regularly.
In the vegetable garden, it gets along well with the carrots, cabbage, turnip, and leek.
Pests and Diseases
Growing lamb’s lettuce requires care from a few diseases like root rot, powdery mildew, and rust. Pests like snails and slugs can become a problem but you can keep them at bay implementing some organic measures. You can plant garlic with it. It helps to keep the pests away naturally. You can also use egg shells to mulch the plant this will deter the soft-bodied insects from crawling.
Also Read: Using Eggshells in the garden
Harvest occurs when the leaves have reached a sufficient size, at least about 3 centimeters, to be able to be consumed. Similar to lettuce you can leave the base for subsequent growth.
Mache Benefits and Uses
Mache is rich in iron and vitamin C. It is also a source of calcium, phosphorus, and potassium as well as vitamin A and B.
It is used to make delicious cuisines and its taste is fine and slightly sweet flavored. It can be consumed: raw in salads or cooked like a spinach.