SALAD CROPS FOR LATE SUMMER/AUTUMN PLANTING
As soon as the hottest days of summer are behind us you can look to growing a new seasons worth of salad plants, some of which can last right up until Xmas and - with a little protection - even over the first part of winter.
With air and soil temperatures perfect for germination you can start sowing many of the salads that you would have already started in the spring. Although it's too late for tomatoes, you will have at least a chance with one more sowing of spring onions, and beetroot, but your best choices will be radishes, baby leaf spinach, mesclun (a mix of small salad leaves popular around the Mediterranean), and the various lettuce varieties that are around today.
Their last sowing times are as follows, but given a mild winter you can continue sowing through into the following month.
Lambs lettuce - also known as Corn Salad or Mache
Mizuna Kyoto - oriental baby leaf salad
Amaranthus - calaloo
Mesclun- a mix of small salad leaves popular around the Mediterranean
Lettuce lollo bionda and lollo rossa
To stretch your cropping times even further you can consider sowing into raised beds for improved drainage if you area is prone to wet autumns and winters. And for even better winter protection against frost and cold winds you can add a 'Dutch light' style covering as seen in the above photo - made from reclaimed pallet wood and UV stabilised plastic - to help protect your salads against early frosts and cold winds.
By using these different growing techniques you can push your cropping times even later by a further 4 or even 6 weeks.
When there is little else to pick from in the allotment or kitchen garden, this is a fantastic way to gain a valuable supply fresh, home- grown produce, which is a true gift when compared the the limp and rather tasteless imported imitations that are on display in your local supermarket. What is more important is that you know the full history of how your food was grown.
For more information click onto:
Autumn Flowering Plants
Fruit and Vegetables for Growing in October
Fruit and Vegetable Plants for Growing in November
Flowering Plants for Late Summer/Autumn Colour
How to Collect and Prepare Lettuce seeds for Propagation
How to Collect and Prepare Melon and Cucumber Seeds for Propagation
How to Collect and Prepare Sweet and Chilli Pepper Seeds for Propagation
How to Collect and Prepare Tomato Seeds for Propagation
How to Grow Basil from Seed
How to Grow Basil from Seed Indoors
How to Grow Greenhouse Tomato Plants from Seed
How to Grow Outdoor Tomato Plants from Seed
How to Grow Radish from Seed
Plants for Autumn Colour
Starting Tomato Plants From Seed
What is an F1 Hybrid?
Which Salad Crops and Herbs are Tolerant of Shade
Which Salad Crop Seeds can be sown in August?
Which Vegetable Seeds can be Sown in January?