Growing and Saving Seed Of Corn Salad (Mache)

Latin name Valerianella locusta is a cool weather-loving annual, and a member of the caprifoliacae family. This low-growing leafy green produces a rosette of soft leaves. While the plants may seem delicate, they are in fact extremely cold hardy. Mache has recently gained recognition among the farm-to-table movement as a perfect winter farming green, and it is high in vitamin C.



Native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Historically documented as being a popular foraging crop by European peasants. Nicknamed "corn salad" because it was often found as a weed in cornfields. 


  • Its delicate, slightly nutty flavor makes it an excellent salad green.




  • Direct sow seeds outdoors in early spring when soil is cool.
  • Ideal germination temperature 41-68 F. Soil temperatures above 70 will inhibit germination.
  • Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep.
  • Sow seeds 1 inch apart, thinning to 3 inches between plants and in rows 4 inches apart. These plants are tiny and like to grow close together.
  • Seeds germinate in 10-14 days.


  • Full sun to part shade.
  • Tolerant of a range of soils.
  • Best harvested before flowers appear. V
  • ery quick to grow and mature, the plant can complete its life cycle (sowing to mature seed) in 40-60 days, with the leaves being harvested much earlier than that.


  • A relatively disease- and pest-free plant.
  • Be sure to avoid high temperatures (consistently above 75-78 F) as this will cause premature bolting.


  • Saving mache seeds is easy, but the seeds are quite small; be careful not to let them blow away.
  • When seed heads dry, shake them into a paper bag or snip the flower heads and rub between the palms to release seeds.
  • Separate chaff from seeds with a fine mesh sieve.
  • Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry location.