Growing salad leaves
It is possible to grow mixed leaves for salads containing blends of Red, Cos, Batavia and Oak Leaf types. The seeds are available in pre-mixed packets so choose the mix you like to use.
Don’t forget to include some chard and rocket in your sowings for a better flavour mix. For early season, sow in pots or trays and later in the season, sow in rows in garden soil.
These salad leaves are suitable for ‘cut and come again’ production. You need only cut what you require fresh, on the day you use them.
Oriental mixes containing mustard leaves are good for autumn sowing in the greenhouse and can be harvested right through the winter.
Early season sowings
- Fill some 12cm pots with a standard seed and potting mix and firm to 1cm below the top of the pot and water up with watering can fitted with a fine rose.
- Sprinkle 8-10 seeds over the surface of the pot and cover lightly with compost and water up again. Place in warm greenhouse or on a windowsill indoors where germination will take place within days.
- Keep evenly watered and allow seedlings to grow on until the mix develops true leaves and is ready for the first cut (3-4 weeks).
- Clip with a scissors about 2.5cm above soil level. This will allow the plants to produce more leaves for later harvests.
Main season sowings
- Sowing can also be made in the greenhouse soil, or in beds outside in the garden when soil temperatures have warmed up, from April to August.
- Sprinkle about 25g of a general fertiliser per m2 onto soil and till and lightly rake the soil. Scribe a line into which you sow about 30 seeds per metre run. Lightly cover with compost or soil and water in. Keep evenly watered for best results.
- Take first cut when leaves are large enough. It will be possible to take 3 or more cuts from each batch. For continuous cropping sow batches at 3 week intervals.