What are mache?
Mache (mache) means “little grass” in Spanish. Mache is a term used to refer to small green plants that grow on the ground. They look like tiny white flowers with pink centers, but they’re actually edible! You may have seen them growing along roadsides or even under rocks near streams and rivers. Some varieties are edible, while others aren’t so good for humans because of their high sugar content and low nutritional value.
Mache is a type of plant that grows on the ground. There are many different types, but most commonly known as machetes, chile peppers, and chiles de arbol. These plants are called mache because they resemble little grasshoppers. They’re usually found in areas where there’s lots of moisture, such as around water sources or along stream banks.
Mache is one of the easiest plants to grow if you have access to moist soil and sunlight.
The leaves of mache are edible, but they contain very few nutrients. Their main use is as a source of fiber and flavor. Mache is also eaten fresh or dried and it’s often added to soups, stews, sauces, salads, dips and other dishes.
How do I grow mache?
Mache plants grow best in rich soil with lots of organic matter and nitrogen, since it is a legume. They can’t survive in salty soil, so avoid planting them near places where fertilizer or herbicides have been used. They like full sun and can grow in most soil types, provided the soil isn’t too dry. Mature plants grow up to 18 inches high and 12 inches wide. The seeds should be planted 1/4 inch deep and 3 inches apart. Mature plants can produce up to 20,000 seeds, so it’s best to just plant a few at a time and then let them go to seed and self-sow for the next growing season.
Mache grows best in USDA plant hardiness zones 3-9. It can be grown indoors anywhere.
Mache greens are very nutritious! They contain several essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, C, K, iron, calcium and more. Just one cup of chopped mache greens contains 31% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin A and 137% of Vitamin K, which is helpful for blood clotting and bone health. Mature plants contain small red berries that are edible, but avoid eating the leaves, flowers, or any other part of the plant that has been exposed to toxic pesticides, herbicides or other chemicals.
Mache greens are best eaten raw and fresh, but they can also be frozen or dried for later use. Add them to your favorite recipes for an extra nutritious kick! Some people make a medicinal tea by steeping 1-2 teaspoons of the dried leaves in a cup of boiling water.
Mache seeds can be sprouted and eaten in the same way as alfalfa or clover sprouts. They can also be ground into a nutritious meal and added as a supplement to other dishes.
Mache greens are part of the legume (bean) family and should not be eaten in excess by people who have soybean or other bean allergies. Like other legumes, they should not be eaten raw and should always be cooked for at least 10 minutes to destroy harmful substances.
Mache plants can self-seed (go to seed and produce new plants) in as little as 3 weeks after maturity. They can act as a “living lawn patch” because they grow so densely and quickly.
How do I use mache?
Mache can be used in all types of recipes just like spinach. It has a mild, slightly nutty flavor. It can also be juiced and the juice can be used as an ingredient in other foods and beverages or consumed by itself.
Mache should not be used in dishes that require long cooking times, since it tends to get mushy. It is best in soups, stews, casseroles, pasta dishes and other foods that require shorter cooking times.
Mache greens are also delicious in omelets, salads, sandwiches and other types of meals. They can be eaten raw or cooked.
Mache plants can easily grow as weeds if they aren’t contained, so harvest often to keep the plants from going to seed. Mature plants will produce thousands of tiny seeds that can easily go to seed and spread all over your garden and beyond. You can allow mache plants to flower and go to seed, then just collect and save the seeds for the next growing season.
Mache greens do not store well, so use them as quickly as possible. You can store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few days, wash them thoroughly before eating or using in recipes.
How can I grow mache in my garden?
Mache grows best in full sun to partial shade and almost any soil type. It is a low-maintenance plant that can survive in poor soil. It is very hardy and can tolerate cold weather. Mature plants can actually survive temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It grows quickly, so it can be harvested several times during the growing season.
Allow mache plants to grow until they are about 6 inches tall. You can harvest the leaves at this stage or allow them to grow a little taller. The leaves become tougher and more bitter the taller they grow, so it’s best to harvest them when they are young.
Mache can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring and can be seeded directly into the ground or grown from seedlings. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and water gently. You don’t need to cover the seeds with soil, but do keep the soil moist until they germinate. This should take 1-3 weeks.
You can also plant in the fall by direct seeding or transplanting. Sow the seeds 1/2 inch deep and space 8 inches apart.
Mache grows best in cooler weather and can even withstand frost, so it’s a good plant to grow in the spring and fall. It can be grown in containers if you live in warmer regions.
How much space does mache need?
Mache grows best in full sun, but can also grow in partial shade. It is a hardy plant that grows in most types of soil and doesn’t require much water. It is best planted in rows or large clusters spaced 10-12 inches apart. Since it grows so quickly, you can cut it several times during the growing season.
It is a hardy plant that can withstand temperatures of 0 degrees Fahrenheit, so it can be planted in the spring or fall.
Each plant can grow to be 3-4 feet tall, so you will need to give it plenty of space. You can also grow it in a large container.
How do I use mache greens?
Mache leaves are nutty and have a mild flavor. They can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked in recipes. They can be used in any recipe that calls for lettuce.
Also called lamb’s lettuce, this cool weather green is not really a lettuce at all. This easy-to-grow annual (sometimes perennial in the right climate) is delicious and can be harvested several times before it goes to seed. It has a mild flavor, similar to spinach. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads; older ones are good in omelets or creamed.
How to Grow Lettuce: Sow lettuce seeds thickly in clean soil and full sun. Successive sowings will ensure a supply of leaves all through the growing season. In mild climates it will survive the winter and reappear in the spring. Most lettuces are delicate and subject to attack by pests and diseases.
They prefer cool weather and quickly go to seed if the weather gets too hot. Young plants can be protected with cloches or plastic tents.
Soil: Lettuce likes a rich, light soil. It can be grown in containers .
When to harvest: Once the plant is about 6 inches tall, cut the outer leaves, leaving at least 2 sets of leaves or “pseudostems” to ensure that the plant will keep growing and producing new, tender leaves. New leaves will be smaller but more frequent if the central growing point is left intact.
Pests & Diseases: Lettuce are prone to attack by aphids, slugs and leafminers. Cabbage white butterflies and root flies are attracted to the leaves.
Seed Saving: Lettuce flowers are pretty but don’t produce seed. Instead, harvest and store the swollen stem portions (base of leaf rosette) and place them in a cool, dry place until early spring when they will swell and ripen. If you are saving seed from crosses or mutants (varieties not likely to be saved and propagated by commercial seed producers), label the stem pieces carefully and plant them immediately so you don’t forget what they are.
Sources & references used in this article:
Get a Clue: A Hands-On Exercise for Password Cracking by …, R Deussen, B Green, J Rush, J Mache… – … and Management …, 2018 – csce.ucmss.com
Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory efficacy of indigenous probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum Lp91 in colitis mouse model by RK Duary, MA Bhausaheb, VK Batish… – Molecular biology reports, 2012 – Springer
Evaluation of self-care skills training and solution-focused counselling for health professionals in psychiatric medicine: a pilot study by S Mache, M Bernburg, L Baresi… – International Journal of …, 2016 – Taylor & Francis
Growing and marketing garden cress and mache at local green markets in Southeast Florida. by KD Shuler, SJ Nie, DV Shuler… – Proceedings of the Florida …, 2006 – cabdirect.org
Mineralogical, physico-chemical and technological characterization of clays from Maroua (Far-North, Cameroon) for use in ceramic bricks production by D Tsozué, AN Nzeugang, JR Mache, S Loweh… – Journal of Building …, 2017 – Elsevier