Thursday 30 July 2015

Chalk and cheese - or is it the sublime and the ridiculous?

I wrote the other day about getting some "Webbs Wonderful" Lettuce that were small and insufficiently dense, and I said at the time that I thought this was caused by the plants being too cramped - of which I am definitely guilty when it comes to salads! Spacing can have a big influence on the size and quality of plants.

Well, I think this Lettuce has not suffered from lack of space:

Actually there are two of them, side by side.

I haven't harvested them yet (waiting for a suitable opportunity to appear on the menu!), but they seem right - in other words the hearts feel firm and heavy, so they should be good.

"Webbs Wonderful"

Adopting the completely opposite approach I have recently planted out loads of tiny Lettuce seedlings, spacing them very closely.

These are ones left over after selecting the best ones for temporary potting-up, awaiting their turn in the Salad Bed. I hadn't the heart to just dump them in the compost, so I thought I would grow them as what I call "Cutting Salad", in other words I will pick their leaves individually while they are still small rather than letting them mature. My second sowing of mixed Cutting Salad has run to seed and been removed now, so these Lettuce seedlings have become available at a very convenient moment.

I have left in place a few of the less bedraggled plants from the recently-removed Cutting Salad, such as one or two Endives. My "deliberately-sown" Endives are not doing well so far (mostly bolted), so I need every Endive I can get. Since we had a fair bit of rain last weekend the soil is nicely damp now, and the Lettuces will grow quickly. I should be able to start taking leaves from them in just a few days from now.


  1. I'd never heard the term "chalk and cheese". I figured it meant something so I had to look it up. I know we all speak English, but it isn't the same English. I love finding new differences.

  2. I'm a huge fan of "cutting salad" & harvest all of my lettuce that way. I only have a 3'x4' spot for lettuce and I find that I get a good 6 weeks or more of salad greens from each sowing, so long as the weather cooperates. Salad greens are a strange thing - initially it seems to take them a long time to size up, but once they get going, they really get going & I usually find it hard to keep up.

  3. We are definitely moving away from lettuce and more to mixed leaves.


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