Salads are extremely easy to grow, and with the huge variety of plants available, you can get fresh harvests throughout the year.
You can grow salad crops, such as rocket or lettuce, in the vegetable patch, but it’s often better to grow them in a container. This helps you reduce pest damage so that when you come to pick your crop, there’s more than a slug-eaten stalk left.
You’ll require very little to grow salads, and if you’re growing on a windowsill, patio or balcony, a bag of compost, a container and some seeds are all that’s needed.
Planting salad seeds
Plant salad seeds in mid-spring, as soon as the risk of frost has passed. Fill a container with soil, place on a sunny windowsill and carefully pat down the surface to ensure that it’s firm. Using a pencil or something similar, you can create a small trough in the surface of soil, along which seeds can be scattered. Lightly cover these seeds with compost and water. After a few days, the first seeds will begin to germinate. Ensure that you keep the soil moist at all times. Sowing new troughs every few weeks will ensure that you get a succession of harvests.
Harvesting salad leaves
Some of the best salads to grow are cut-and-come-again varieties. Within only three weeks you can be picking juicy leaves and succulent salads for your dinner.
Instead of picking an entire plant, simply remove the largest leaves from several plants. This will keep them growing and producing more crop.
Remove flower stalks as they begin to develop, and sow troughs in succession to ensure an ongoing salad supply.