Sow a box of salad

Sow a box of salad

Sow a box of salad now to ease those itchy gardener’s fingers and get growing something, and also provide yourself with a super-early crop to kick-start your grow-your-own year.

It's a bit soon to be sowing salad outdoors – but under cover in a greenhouse, polytunnel or just a bright windowsill lettuces and baby-leaf salad mixes germinate perfectly happily.

One of the most attractive ways to produce the quantities you need for a generous bowlful is to sow cut-and-come-again crops into troughs or wooden crates – you’ll find a great selection in different sizes on sale our garden centre here in Uffculme.

Fill your container with good-quality multi-purpose compost and sow into the top. You can use a salad mix, broadcasting the seed over the surface of the dampened compost; or sow your own preferred selection of lettuces, herbs and salad greens. At this time of year hardier varieties cope best with cooler temperatures, so choose Russian red kale, corn salad, mizuna or hardy lettuce such as 'Rouge d'Hiver'. Cover lightly with more compost and pop a sheet of clear polythene over the top so the surface doesn’t dry out. Keep your salad box damp and you'll have your first pickings within 6-8 weeks of sowing.