It really is not difficult to grow salad at home and you can start at any time of the year. The sooner you start the sooner you will be able to eat those tasty leaves! The trick to growing a succession of salad throughout the year is to concentrate on growing “leaves” rather than “plants”. To grow a complete Lettuce plant can take 80 days…but if you sow the seeds thickly and grow just leaves then they can be ready in just 40 days! Invest in a few packets of seed and they will last you a couple of years…and save you a fortune compared with the limp shop salads….
Start to Grow Salad Now
Grow salad a t home to create cheap and tasty salads all year round. Spring salads are particularly useful since this tends to be the time of year when salad is most expensive in the shops. For the fastest crops in 30 to 40 days grow leaves rather than individual plants:
Rocket is really hardy and continues to grow well at low temperatures. You can eat all the plant including the flowers although the older leaves can haave a really strong taste! If you want to grow salad in spring this one is a must!
This is a variety of Japanese mustard so as you might expect it has a nice peppery taste. Very hardy and also grow well in the cold.
The best variety to look for is “Salad Bowl” or “Oak Leaf Lettuce”. You can often get a mixture containing green and red leaves. Not so hardy as the previous two and will not continue to grow until the weather starts to warm up. Quite a bland taste so good mixed in with Rocket and Mizuna.
Compact plant with fleshy leaves that wilt soon after picking so get the leaves into your salad as soon as you can. Quite a sweet taste. Very hardy but doesn’t budge much until the warmer weather arrives then goes quickly to seed so needs using up! Also known as “Corn Salad”
A good salad to grow in order to add some bulk! Endive plants can grow huge and are normally blanched (covered from the light) in order to make them less bitter. However, if grown quickly and eaten small they are a great addition to any salad. The Frizzy kinds look nicer but can rot off as the heart collects moisture, so look for the more hardy “Batavian” types.
Choose Salad Seeds
Grow salad from seed at any time of the year. Autumn sowings will overwinter and give you pickings during the winter in milder periods and will then romp away in the spring. Spring sowings will be ready in April and May if you start them in a greenhouse or cold frame.
You can grow salad just about anywhere…in a frame, in a greenhouse, in pots and troughs, on a windowsill or on a balcony! It is actually pretty difficult to “go wrong” with salad plants, however these books all give you excellent step by step instructions to help guarantee you the best crop whatever your circumstances.
Grow salad in a frame or greenhouse and you will be able to eat it most months of the year…and it is always nice to be able to pick some fresh leaves when there is snow outside!
Honestly, growing salad is a great hobby that will save you money and help provide healthy and nutritious food all year round. If you are worried that growing vegetables is complicated then think again….salad plants are mostly tough and tolerate many different kinds of neglect! If you have a greenhouse or cold frame then so much the better as this will help you maximize your crops. If not, then don’t worry, you can also grow salad in pots, troughs or other containers…even on your windowsill!