Adding a small bed along the side of the new compost container area was an after thought. The gardener had some extra boards left over from other raised bed edges and I thought a small bed just here, under the edge of the shade of the hazel tree, would work well for salads. He was surprised that I wanted such a small bed for them and didn’t imagine I would be able to grow much in such a small area. I think we have both been surprised by the result. These sorts of leaves do not need full sun and, in fact, they can bolt quickly if grown somewhere too hot. I grow the sorts of lettuce and salad greens that are not to be readily found in an overpriced supermarket “washed and ready to eat” bag. These are types selected to be “cut and come again” lettuce. With a dozen or so plants of different types of lettuce, I can just pick off the outside leaf of each plant to have enough salad for the two of us. They seem quite happy being grown so close together. The odd snail gets turfed out from time to time and the odd weed is either culled or eaten!
This is Salad Burnett. It is really considered to be a herb. I grow it as it is just so pretty. The taste is very delicate. VERY easy to grow from seed and you will only need to plant it once as it self-seeds itself about with a generous heart. It responds well, when it gets too big and the leaves grow a bit tough to eat, to a “Chelsea Chop”- cut the whole clump back to one inch off the ground and it springs up with fresh leaves again and again.
A generous selection of all sorts, colours and textures, many lettuce seeds are sold in a mixed packet to make this sort of selection really easy.
A throw over net keeps the pigeons and the rabbit at bay. It also stops the blackbirds, robins and other feathered friends from from rooting about for worms.
I cannot describe the joy I get from wandering down at lunch time to pick a good handful of the freshest leaves to make a lovely salad with all the other things we choose to put with them. But that’s a subject for another post…
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