Tips for Salad Crops Growing

  • Always check the seed packet to make sure that you sow at the correct depth and position in the garden.
  • Keep a close watch on your seeds, never allow compost to dry out. If in a dark location, at first sign of germination remove the tray or pot to full light, but warm and not in full sun.
  • Once seedlings are large enough to handle (normally when first set of true leaves have developed from the first two seed leaves), they can be gently transplanted to other containers or cell trays for growing on.
  • Never use garden soil when sowing seeds in pots or trays indoors as it will probably contain weed seeds and could also contain pests & diseases. Always use a good quality seed compost.
  • When sowing most seeds in trays or pots, sow thinly and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. This aids germination and reduces “damping off” (this is when clumps of seedlings that have been sown too thick collapse and die).
  • After thinning out, water plants well to wash dislodged soil back around the roots of the remaining plants.
  • Do not allow plants to dry out and do not over water. The soil should be kept moist but not wet.

Beetroot

To extend the cropping season of beetroot, harvest alternate beets once they are the size of a golf ball.  This will give early “baby” beets but also allow space for the remaining crop to develop.

Radish

For the best quality radish, pick the roots when they are small and sow seeds little and often throughout the season.  Water regularly to ensure fast growth and to help prevent “woody roots”.

Lettuce

Great crop to grow if space is limited as many varieties such as the “cut and come again” baby leaves can be grown in containers on the patio. Harvest early morning or evening for the crispiest freshest leaves.

Rocket

Ideal for containers, quick and easy to grow and give a strong flavoured baby leaf.  Containers need to be kept well-watered.

Spinach

Ideal for growing in a partially shady area of the garden. Excess heat will cause the crop to “bolt”.  Mid-summer sowings are best grown for baby leaves.

Onions

Like a sunny position in well-drained soil but need to be kept weed free so that the narrow leaves can reach the light.

Spring Onions

May also be grown in containers on the patio. Removing alternate plants will allow space for the remainder to grow on and the young harvested onions can be used in salads.