Salad Leaves

You don’t need much space to have a small supply of salad leaves all year round.

Micro Salad Leaves

If you’re not familiar with micro leaves just think of mustard and cress. Micro salad leaves are cut while the seed leaves (the cotyledons) are still green and before the first true leaves have developed.

You can grow them outside in summer and in a greenhouse, coldframe or on a window sill during winter. Sow the seed quite thickly. You don’t need much depth of compost as they won’t have time to develop deep roots.

Oriental salad leaves and rocket can be sown all year round and are fairly fast growing (10-20 days depending on the time of year). You can experiment with any veg seed that has edible leaves.

Baby Salad Leaves, Cut and Come Again

Sow the seeds closer together than you would for full size plants. Simply cut the leaves off when there are several leaves the size you want.  If you leave at least 1 leaf on the plant it will recover and crop again more quickly.  Allow the plants to regrow and harvest again. You can do this several times.

Salad Leaves in Containers

Micro leaves and baby salad leaves are real favourites for slugs and snails. Growing them in containers can make protecting them easier. Copper tape around the container prevents them getting into your crop.

Pest and Problems

The main problem is likely to be slugs and snails. as mentioned above copper tape can protect containers. Using nematodes on vegetable beds can seriously reduce the slug population but you will probably need to give them some additional protection such as gravel or crushed egg shell as a physical barrier.