purple and green lettuce grown in rows
Which salad crops can be sown in August?

As soon as the hottest days of summer are behind us you can look towards growing a new seasons worth of vegetable crops over the first part of late autumn and winter.

During August, air and soil temperatures are perfect for germination so you can start sowing seeds of some more of the vegetables that you would have already started with in the spring. Although it's too late for tomatoes – perhaps the most popular of all the salad crops - you will still have an excellent chance of success with one last sowing of spring onions and radish and besides. However, your current crop of tomatoes should already be ripe and ready to pick.

Your best – and almost bulletproof – late season choices would be baby leaf spinach, mustard and lettuce.

Rows of white bulb onions
Which salad crops can be sown in August?
Onion White Lisbon Winter Hardy
A dual purpose onion that resists bulbing up enabling it to be pulled for a longer period than regular varieties. Spring Onion Winter White Bunching has excellent overwintering qualities, can be sown either late August for late May pulling or in spring and summer for summer/autumn crops.

This is an ideal crop to grow after the heat of summer as the shorter, cooler days will inhibit flowering. This is important as flowering will cause the flavoursome root to turn bitter and unpalatable. Sow directly into prepared seed beds in a sunny position.

For more on growing radish from seed click onto:
How to Grow Radish from Seed

Rows of purple and green frilled lettuce
Which salad crops can be sown in August?
Salad Leaves

There are many mixes and varieties of salad leaves that can be grown at this time of year for ‘cut and grow’ or just as a normal crop plant. They will all require very similar growing conditions preferring a free draining, humus rich soil that will hold plenty of moisture in the summer. To prevent the common physiological disorder of 'Tip burn' that can be experienced with some soils, you may wish to add lime before planting. In preparation to sowing, dig over the soil and add plenty of compost such as leaf mould or well-rotted manure. Then a week or so before sowing your seeds, rake the soil over to produce a fine tilth. You may also wish to apply a general fertiliser at this time. Below is a list of salad varieties that are commonly available.

Oriental Mustard -Oriental mustard greens are very popular in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking and pickling

Lambs lettuce - 
Sometimes known as Corn Salad, lamb's lettuce has long spoon-shaped dark leaves and a distinctive, tangy flavour

Mizuna Kyoto - oriental baby leaf salad

Mesclun- a mix of small salad leaves popular around the Mediterranean

Chinese cabbage - also known as Corn Salad or Mache

For related articles click onto the following links:
What to sow and grow in August

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