Saturday 27 September 2014

Mesclun and "Daddy Salad"

Mesclun is a posh name for mixed salad - usually a mix of very small leaves from plants like Rocket, Chervil, Lettuce and Endive - whereas "Daddy Salad" is what my daughters used to call it when they were very young. Well, actually, they called it that first when they were very young. They still call it that now! Here it is in its latest incarnation...

This is the so-called "Gourmet Salad". Close inspection reveals that it contains (at least) Lettuce, Rocket, Red Mustard, Mizuna, and Pak Choi. As you can see, the leaf-miners have found the Mizuna, but so far the other plants look unscathed. Unfortunately the Rocket has already begun to bolt, but that seems to happen a lot when it is crowded as it is here.

In the first photo above you can make out a pot of "official" Mesclun behind the seed-tray. This contains amongst other things Sorrel, Celery Leaf, Endive, Chicory and even some Carrots (for their leaves). Put some of each of all this lot together with some Landcress from elsewhere in the garden, and you get this:

I added those mixed leaves to some of my larger-leaved Iceberg-style lettuce ("Webbs Wonderful") and some Radicchio and it made a really special salad. It's maybe a pity I didn't photograph it...

In view of my commitment to Successional Sowing, here is the next lot of Mesclun, already on its way:

It looks a bit sparsely-populated, because despite the application of blue slug-pellets, the blessed slugs have still managed to penetrate the defences!

Growing salads in seed-trays and pots like this is a good way to do it when Winter is approaching, because you can easily move the plants under cover in a cold-frame or greenhouse if you need to.


  1. My fall lettuce never made it. I wish I had a pot of mesclun like you do. I have to do better next year.

  2. That's a sweet story! Cheshire cheese to me will always be 'Worzle Gummidge' cheese to be as my dad told me it was the only cheese he ate! It does like a lovely selection of leaves.

  3. I love those childish names for food. I would tell you one or two my daughter used to say, but wouldn't want to embarrass her! We still laugh about it. Your lettuce just looks scrumptious..I have some starting up right now....hope it cools off a bit or it may not make it! It is still really hot here.

  4. So we grow daddy salad without realising it.


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