Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Lettuce etc...

I think my Salads bed is ample demonstration that you can grow a lot of salad in a small space. Here it is - a 1 metre x 2.4 metres raised bed. It is protected by netting to stop cats / foxes / badgers digging in it or trampling over it.

I cram the plants in fairly densely. One end of the bed is devoted mainly to Lettuces, though there are also a couple of clumps of Parsley, and my little patch of "Cutting Salad".

I like to have several different types of Lettuce on the go at any given moment. Currently I have Marvel of Four Seasons, Webbs Wonderful, Ice Queen, Devin, Elyburg, Amaze, Tom Thumb, Little Gem and another red one whose name I don't know because it is from a mixed pack (it's the tall one at bottom right of this next photo).

One of my favourites, and one which is very consistent, is this "Devin", grown from seeds sent to me by a friend in the Czech Republic.

The other end of the bed is currently less densely populated:

There are three rows of Radishes (one only very tiny still), one row of Spring Onions, six Lettuces (three each of "Amaze" and "Elyburg"), and six Endives (three each of "De Meaux" and "Caillard").

The Endives were only planted a few days ago and are still small.

I will be tending them very carefully and paying special attention to watering them, because they can be a bit temperamental and will bolt at the slightest excuse! Actually, I am particularly concerned about bolting this year, because of the strange weather we are having. The plants are understandably confused.

The population of this bed is constantly changing because whenever I harvest something I replace it more or less immediately with something else. Which reminds me, the "Cutting Salad" is reaching the end of its useful life, so I must pull it up and start again.


  1. You're doing really well with your successional sowing, something I haven't got quite right just yet.

  2. Looks terrific.
    Don't you have problems with slugs?
    First they feasted on my Freckles salad and now the Lollo Rosso is gone :-(
    I can't sow as fast as they eat the salads.
    Best regards, Angela

  3. Your salads bed is a testament to the productivity of a well managed small space. Lettuce is a particularly generous crop to grow. My biggest problem is keeping up with the harvests, especially at this time of year, the heads seem to fill out overnight and the next thing you know they're overgrown.

  4. I always "marvel" (he he) at how wonderful your beds look. I agree with you completely on the spacing requirements for salad. I harvest most of the lettuce on a cut and come again basis and found that a 3' x 4' (0.92M x 1.22M) section of the bed is more than enough for our needs. That's especially the case in mid-late summer when other salad ingredients start flowing from the garden like tomatoes and cucumbers. It actually quite surprised me how much such a small space could produce - last summer, I harvested over 9.2 kilo of lettuce!

  5. I've always done a small potager for the kids just to show how much you can grow in a small space, it's always been productive with lettuce, beetroot, radish, carrots, chard and srawberries :)

  6. The bed looks so beautiful with all those lettuces growing. I've devoted a 2'x6' spot to my lettuce and so far so good. Though I do have some fill ins from some self seeded lettuce in the squash bed. My problem is the weather here. We almost have cool enough temperatures to grow all summer long, but most bolt or get bitter on me at some point. The farms still seem to pull it off, but I've yet to be able to. Maybe this year. There is always the first time.

  7. It's bigger than mine which is why we could do with another, :)

  8. They look lovely. How aren't they being eaten by slugs like mine? If you don't mind sharing your secret that would be lovely.

    1. My "secret" is twofold - firstly good garden hygiene, removing many of the places where slugs and snails hang out, and secondly blue slug pellets (the so-called organic type). They work by drying up the slime on which the molluscs depend. I find them very effective.


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