Lettuces in a raised bed

Keeping the salad leaves coming

I’m determined this year to keep the salad leaves and lettuces coming for as long as possible so this year I’m sowing both at regular intervals. Once one batch is planted, another is sown. So far it seems to be going OK.The plants in the picture were sown on 13 March and we started harvesting the salads leaves about 5-6 weeks later although the lettuces still have some growing to do.

I sow my seeds in cell trays – the salad leaves in the picture were sown in rubber cell trays (from www.anythingbutplastic.co.uk, an attempt to reduce plastic in the garden) and the lettuces in a mini plug plant trainer from Agralan (available online) which I’ve had for years and found really good for lettuce in the past.

‘Oakus’ lettuces have attractive deep red leaves

The lettuces include a new one to me called ‘Oakus’ (Kings) and this has really attractive deep red leaves, ‘Bronze Arrow’ (Heritage Seed Library) a heritage variety that I first grew last year and was really lovely, plus modern variety ‘Vailan’ (D T Brown)a cos or Romaine type and good old ‘Lollo Rossa Red’ (widely available). The latter should go on for some time if I use it as a ‘cut-and-come-again’ crop, just picking leaves as I need them.

The mixed salad leaves were sown on 13 March

The salad leaves are just a mix of left over packets I had at the end of last year and include rocket, wild rocket, mizuna, pak choi and some mustards.

The plants are growing in a raised bed in a sunny, but sometimes windy side way by the backdoor so the cos lettuces especially needed some protection as they were getting so windswept I lost a few as the soft stems snapped. having them there however, makes it great for harvesting when you just need a few leaves for a lunchtime sandwich!

What are your favorite salads to grow? Comment below or you can email me with a picture @ [email protected]