Salad is one of our Summer diet staples, providing a colourful accompaniment to almost every meal we enjoy during the warmer months; imagine how good it would be to have your own supply, fresh from the garden.
The good news is that this is easy to achieve and extremely cost effective too. Simply follow our guide to start your own super salad crop, continue planting successionally throughout the Summer and you can ensure you have salad available whenever you need it!
We’re using an outdoor container in which to plant our salad – but you could always plant directly into the soil. If you are planting directly into the soil, prepare it by ensuring that it is weed-free, before digging and forking it over and then raking to create a fine surface (or ‘tilth’) in which to sow your seed – but wherever you choose to plant, the method is the same.
First fill your container with multi-purpose compost and water generously to ensure that it is nicely moist.
Open your seed packet carefully – if the seeds are very small, you may find an ‘inner’ packet too – and tip them into your palm.
Take a pinch between your finger and thumb, and gently broadcast them across the surface of your container, spacing them as evenly as you can and making sure that you don’t sow too thickly.
Use more compost to gently cover your seeds, and then water again. Finally, remember to label them so you don’t forget what you’ve planted!
Care & Harvesting
In early Spring there’s still a danger of chilly nights, so it may be prudent to protect your salad crops with a cloche or fleece if a frost or particularly cold night is forecast.
Be sure you keep the compost moist as your seeds germinate and establish, and remove any weeds as they appear.
Your salad will be ready to harvest in just 2-3 weeks when the leaves are 12-15cm (5-6”) – and using a cut and come again variety means that you can just snip what you need, and they’ll re-grow!
Finally, to ensure that salad leaves are readily available throughout the Summer, repeat the sowing process every couple of weeks.
We have a great collection of salad seeds, and a wide range of vegetable seeds, plus all the containers and compost you’ll need – so visit us in-store NOW and prepare to get sowing!
Update – June 2015
Just three weeks after planting (it was a little cold!), you can see in the first picture that our seeds had germinated. Just two weeks later we were ready for the first cut (picture 2) and this harvest (picture 3) gave us lots of tasty salad. And it doesn’t end there, just one week after our first harvest, our plants were ready to harvest again (picture 4).