Thursday, 9 April 2009

Growing Your Own Salad Leaves

We all know that we should be eating more healthily and what better way to encourage yourself, and your kids, to eat more salad than by growing it yourself!! Now I have chosen to grow a small bowl of it (as there are only two of us) but you can grow as much as you want. Try choosing a pack of seeds for 'Salad Leaves' rather than for a particular type of lettuce, this will give you the biggest range of leaves for your salad and a lot more colour and interest in your pot, or bed. The pot pictured is a great shape and depth of salad, you could probably go shallower if you are just going with leaves, rather than specific lettuce such as Iceberg. Also great for growing spinach!

Now if you have been reading the previous posts you will know that I suggested getting yourself a calandar and that this would be important when we got to grow the Salad Leaves, well you'll soon find out why..

Sow your lettuce seeds as follows: fill your bowl almost to the top and pat down as discussed in the Seeding post. Sprinkle over 1/4 to 1/3 of the seeds in your packet and make sure they are evenly covering the surface. Sprinkle a light covering of soil over them, just enough to cover them all, again you can pat down gently. Now park your bowl wherever you wish, mine has been put straight out in the garden although if there is any sign of late frost I will move into the shed. By the way if you are planting in a bed, be a bit tidier in your sowing buy making furrows and spinkling the seeds along the furrow before covering over.

Whats the calandar for? Mark today as Phase 1: Lettuce. And mark off in two weeks time Phase 2: Lettuce, two more weeks Phase 3: Lettuce etc until you have accounted for all your seeds. Then, on your marked days, go back to your pot and sprinkle on the next batch of seeds. This will encourage your leaves to grow in 'waves' meaning you have a continuing supply of fresh salad. If you are planting in a bed then just make a new furrow each seeding week, so you end up with three or four rows of leaves at different stages.

And there you go, easy hassle free salad leaves...

I will get pictures of my plantings as soon as they are more interesting than a pot of mud!!

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