Tuesday 21 March 2017

Starting some salads

The weather has improved sufficiently to tempt me to sow some more seeds. I sowed a seed-tray with a couple of pinches of seed from two different packs of Mixed Lettuce. One of them is French Salad Leaves Mix, which includes not only Lettuce but also a proportion of Endive, Radicchio and Rocket. I placed the seed-tray in my big new coldframe, and they germinated within just a few days (I think it was only 4).

I am also having a go at a batch of what I call "Daddy Salad" - i.e. salad leaves intended to be cut at a very young age. The name is the one that my kids gave to this style of salad when they were young, and it has been used in our family ever since.  Last year I used a technique that proved very successful, so I'm using it again. It involves sowing the seeds in a sort of "bed within a bed":

Last year I made two of these little wooden squares, using bits of scrap wood. They are roughly 45cm square. The idea is that with the wire grilles laid over the top, as seen in the photos, they act as a protected environment, shielding tiny seeds/plants from the ravages of cats, foxes and badgers.

The wooden frame and the metal grille is held in place by a bent wire "staple" at each corner.

For this salad I have used a mix of Lettuce, Rocket, Endive and Greek Cress, which should give a crop that is varied in colour, shape, texture and flavour. Once the seedlings are a couple of inches high, I will sow the second square with a similar mix of seeds, so that they mature at about the time that the first one's plants are finished. You can usually get 2 or 3 cuts from this type of salad.

Today I also want to show off this:

It is Wild Garlic coming up amongst the Lysimachia (or vice versa!). I think it makes a good colour combination, don't you?


  1. I also love to sow salad..hopefully it will growing well in your garden.

  2. What a clever idea to protect your young seedlings! You do seem to have more than your share of ne'er do wells though - cats foxes AND badgers!

  3. Is it slug-proof too, I wonder - or are you one of the very lucky few who don't suffer from slugs and snails...?

  4. I really must start sowing some seeds! I like the colour combination nature can be so clever! We had some wild garlic in a raised bed when we arrived here. I have noticed this year that it looks as if it is appearing in other raised beds too. Have you had this problem too? Sarah x

    1. Yes, it spreads a lot - I think the seeds get transported by the wind or by birds.

  5. The vivid green and bronze leaves are very striking together.

  6. Wild garlic is one crop that I would love to try - I've never tasted it, but have heard it is quite delicious. I've kept an eye out over the past couple of years at farmers markets, but no luck so far.

  7. My salad seeds haven't really germinated. I think the slugs got there first. A job for the weekend: sow more lettuce!


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