SALAD CROPS FOR LATE SUMMER AND AUTUMN PLANTING

Cold frame made from recycled pallets
Salad crops for late summer and 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 will even crop until thearrival 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 one more 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.

Green and purple lettuce crops
Salad crops for late summer and autumn planting
Their last sowing times are as follows, but given a mild winter you can continue sowing through into the following month.

JULY
Beetroot
Spring onions

AUGUST
Oriental Mustard
Radish
Lambs lettuce - also known as Corn Salad or Mache
Mizuna Kyoto - oriental baby leaf salad
Amaranth - callaloo
Mesclun- a mix of small salad leaves popular around the Mediterranean

SEPTEMBER
Lettuce lollo bionda and lollo rossa
Mustard spinach
Spinach oriental

Young lettuce plants
Salad crops for late summer and autumn planting
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 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 as well as giving yourself the choice of growing your home grown crops organically. Let's face it, do you really want to buy poor quality food laced with harmful insecticides when with a little cultivational help you can bring fresh produce to the table almost all-year round?

For related articles click onto the following links:
Beetroot Boltardy - 350 seeds
Beetroot Red Ace - 150 seeds
HOW TO GROW RADISH FROM SEED
HOW TO USE CROP ROTATION ON AN ALLOTMENT
Planting vegetables in midsummer for fall harvest
WHICH SALAD CROP SEEDS CAN BE SOWN IN AUGUST?
WHICH SALAD CROPS AND HERBS ARE TOLERANT OF SHADE
WHICH VEGETABLES ARE TOLERANT OF GROWING IN THE SHADE

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