Saturday 17 December 2011

Winter salads update

Many of you will know that I'm using some cloches that I bought earlier in the year to try to produce viable Winter salads. I have three of the "Longrow" cloches like these:-

I also have a number of individual cloches, like the ones in the foreground here:-

I had a day off work on Monday, and the weather was quite decent - dry and sunny, though cold - so I decided to see if my Winter salads inside the cloches needed any attention.

This is a batch of Endives with one or two Radicchio. They looked fine. Growing slowly, and far from mature, but no problems. I just loosened-up the soil around them and put the cover back on.

Curly Endive

The lettuces under the two big individual cloches looked pretty good too. Strong and healthy. I think they get more light in the individual cloches, and of course they are not so much in competition with their siblings.

The situation under the two side-by-side cloches was a bit different: The soil was a lot damper and much of it was covered with a layer of green moss.

In this zoomed photo you can see that the moss is composed of a mass of tiny filaments, almost like the mycelium of a fungus. I don't think this is good! It probably indicates insufficient light and ventilation, and too much moisture.

So, I removed the green moss and cultivated the soil surface to give it some more air, and I removed a few of the big leaves from the nearby Flower Sprout plants, in order to improve the light level.

The lettuces in this area looked a bit "weak and weedy" compared with the ones under the individual cloches, but even so I am reasonably pleased. I think they will be OK. At least the cloches protect them from the wind, and if we get snow they will protect them from direct contact with that too. It'll probably be about two more months before any of them are really mature, but I might just pick a few of them to use as "Baby Salad Leaves" before then.


  1. This is an interesting experiment and I hope that it does give you viable plants. It would be good to see them on New Years day, for comparison.

    I wonder why the long cloches were damper than the individuals?

  2. It seems like your long cloches do need more ventilation. It is too moist in them. I think the lettuce and endives look wonderful!

  3. Lovely longrow covers, haven't seen them over here yet, especially with ventilation at either end; pretty smart. Do agree, moss would like damp soil if the other conditions are perfect for it. maybe some powdered lime added? Nice greens, I must say.

  4. There's so much of extra effort you need to put in considering your climate. And yet you grow the most wonderful veggies! i'm looking forward to seeing your photos about how you use them later.

    Thank you for stopping by today. You're right...the blooms taste delicious!!

  5. All the ground in your photos look quite damp. The extra humidity under the cover is probably too much. My home made cold frames must have enough air leakage that my problem will be keeping out the cold.

  6. I love seeing your longrow cloches, I had at one time considered making some with hard greenhouse plastic but found the project to be far too expensive. We have some mossy areas in our garden as well and I thought perhaps it was a combination of dampness and too high soil acidity, I will have to do something about it next year. Enjoy those greens.:)

  7. Its lovely to have lettuce all year round. Too hot for lettuce summer here.

  8. Wow Mark you're an inspiration! Most people in the UK curl up with a good book by the fire during winter but not you! I look forward to seeing the end result! Cloches look fab. lol x


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.