Growing salad leaves is an excellent pursuit, when starting out growing your own crops. So easy to sow and you’ll be able to reap the harvests in a relatively quick space of time.
After you’ve tried the many varieties of salad leaves with their different colours and flavours you’ll start to recognise your favourites and which varieties complement each other perfectly.
The Equipment you need to Grow Salad Leaves
1 x seed packet of Salad Mix Seeds – Bright & Spicy
1 x Veg Trug Salad Planter (use indoors or outdoors for growing salad leaves)
1 x watering can
1 x trowel
When is the best time to start growing salad leaves?
These seeds can be grown indoors from February but can be sown outside any time from April to September. Salad seeds germinate in warmed soil.
How to sow salad leaf seeds
- Fill your Veg Trug Salad Planter with Vegetable Growing Compost to 2cm below the surface using a trowel.
- Make shallow drills (straight rows made by pressing a cane into the soil) about 1.5cm deep.
- Water the compost, using a watering can, so that the compost is moist but not saturated.
- Tap the seeds from the packet into the furrow of your palm and scatter the seeds evenly over the soil surface.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost so they are just covered without being buried.
- Using the labels, write down the date you sowed the seeds and the variety of the salad leaves. Push the label into the edge of the Veg Trug Salad Planter. This will enable you to keep a record of when the seeds were planted and how long the seeds take to germinate.
- As the seeds germinate and grow into small plants, water in the morning – the time of day when your plants with take up the most water through their roots. At midday watering can burn the leaves or be lost to evaporation by the sun.
- If it’s a particularly warm spell water in the evenings too.
How to take care of salad leaves
Be careful to not let the soil dry out, especially when the weather is hot. When the plants reach about 5cm tall, apply compost to help seal the moisture in the soil.
The seeds, as they grow, need to be thinned out to help the plants develop. To thin out the seedlings use your thumb and forefinger. The thinned seedlings can then be used in salads.
When to harvest your salad leaves – it’s a matter of personal taste!
Expect to have harvestable leaves within 1 to 2 weeks.
To harvest your salad leaves cut them at the base with scissors or pruning snips.
You choose whether you want to harvest them when the leaves are small – perfect for garnishes, or whether you want to harvest then once the leaves grow larger. They have a different texture and flavour when they are larger and good for mixed salads.
With most salad leaves once you’ve harvested once at the base; you can expect the leaves to grow back for usually another two harvests. The secret to having salad leaves all summer is to sow several times, about a fortnight apart. So, once you finish with one crop, you can start the next.
To ensure a continued and healthy harvest make sure you continue to water the plants each day and add a liquid feed such as Seaweed Extract.