Grow Your Own Summer Salads

Whether you’re a windowsill grower or vegetable plot lover, there’s nothing more rewarding than growing your own salads for a tasty summer treat.

Grow Your Own Summer Salad

Our Self-watering Salad and Herb Planters are perfect for directly sowing your seeds into. You can typically expect to be harvesting 6 weeks after sowing.

Read our Gardening Angels top tips and sow salad and herbs now for a continuous crop right through summer.

Sowing Salad Seeds

Seeds can be sown into Seed Trays in shallow drills before moving them to their final growing space. If using seed tape, lay out on the composts surface and lightly cover with compost and water.

Sowing Larger Salad Seeds

Bigger seeds such as coriander can be sown individually. Place a few larger seeds in the palm of your hand and place on the surface of the compost at intervals. Then gently push then a little way into the compost and knock the side of the pot or tray to redistribute the compost, then water.

Top Tip
Create your own salad Bar by sowing a few lettuce, radish, beetroot and spring onions every fortnight from now until autumn and enjoy a continuous harvest.

 

Salad Varieties – Something New?

• Space Savers

Try some “Cut & Come Again” varieties such as basil, lettuce, Mizuna, Radicchio, Corn Salad. Perfect for growing in the ground or in containers. Choose a pre-mixed salad seeds for variety. They can be harvested at a young leafy stage around 12cm’s tall. Snip them 4cm from ground level and they will sprout again 4-5 times after their first harvest.

Growing Your Own Salads

• Make the Most of Root Veg

Harvest the leaves of crops usually grown for their roots such as beetroot and radish when they are young. They taste great in a salad.Swirly Beets - Sow some Chioggia Beetroot in short rows directly outside or in your salad planter every couple of weeks during spring and summer. It gives a lovely striped effect when sliced thinly in a salad.

• Krazy Kale

Ornamental Kales and cabbages stand out thanks to their purple leaves. Try some Kale ‘Redbor’ or red cabbages such as ‘Red Drum Head’ for edible and decorative leaves.

What Salad & Herb Varieties to Grow
Read our guide and learn more about our favourite varieties.

 

Read our Guide and learn more about our favourite varieties.

Caring for your Salad Garden

• Smart Watering 

Overwatering causes the most problems for salad and herb growers. When soil becomes too wet, plants roots can’t access valuable oxygen which plants need to absorb water and nutrients. Plants become thirsty and growth slows down.

Top Tip
If you’re growing in a holiday-proof Salad or Herb Planter, then simply add water to the SmartReservoir every 2 weeks and these clever planters will keep your leafy salads, radishes, spring onions and herbs perfectly watered without wasting a drop.

 

During long spells of dry weather and heat, try to water salads every 2 days as long as your soil is well composted. If you’re growing in containers water daily.

• Watch Out For Mould

Mould caused by moist conditions is a common problem when growing your own Salad and Herbs.
Ensure your salads and herbs are sufficiently ventilated and that your final growing space is well lit to prevent mould growth which can result in the demise of your salad & herb crops.

Deterring Pests Naturally

• Slugs & Snails

Slugs can be troublesome at this time of year near your favourite edibles. Watch out for them in damp, dark crevices to reduce their numbers. If you’re a bit squeamish, try using some organic slug pellets, copper tape etc. Alternatively pick them up and pop them in containers and feed them to birds in your garden.

• Armies of Ants

Keep an eye out for ants, they secrete formic acid which poison plants roots. It’s important to keep the soil moist to deter them from invading your salad crops.

• Aphids

Aphids can also group around your salad leaves, but ladybirds are usually nearby to polish them off. If you have a large infestation, squash them by hand or use an Organic Pest Control Spray or attract some Lacewings or Ladybirds  who will munch on pesky aphids.

Insect Pest Fleece Cover

• Flea Beetles

Flea beetles love dining on brassicas such as rocket and kale. Reduce attacks by covering crops with a Gardening Fleece or Insect Mesh Netting.

Insect Repellent Essentials
See all our Organic Slug & Insect Repellents here.

 

Salad Harvesting Top Tips

1) Pick, Sow, Pick

Be a reactive grower. Each time you harvest, sow your next batch of seeds in the adjacent space to ensure a continuous salad and herb harvest.

2) Maximise Your Growth

Encourage new growth by picking outer leaves from across your salad plants.

3) Avoid Harvest Glut

If you’ve harvested too much salad, pop them in a sealed bag for freshness. If they start to wilt, revive them by submerging in cold water so they soak up moisture, allowing them to firm up and become crisp again.