Quick Gardening tip - End of season Daylilies
Border planting - a front garden refresh

Sowing overwintering salad crops


I've now harvested most of my greenhouse tomatoes. There are just some compact plants and the chilli's left in my pots on the floor of the greenhouse now.

Within a few weeks I want all of those refilled with winter cropping salads. I've already got some lettuces growing, and some chervil, but I needed to make sure that I had sown enough salads to last me through until April, as i've vowed to have another winter with no shop bought salad leaves.

To make sure that I can keep to that, i've filled my staging with module trays of lots of different varieties of winter leaves, and seedlings of lettuces which will be for as soon as the sun comes back next spring.

The winter leaves i've sown are

Rocket, - wild and variety Apollo

Chervil - a favourite now, great for adding to winter omelettes

Red leaved Sorrel - fairly strong so only a few leaves used in a salad, but great for using in sauces for fish

Mizuna - this tastes revolting if grown in the height of summer, but the overwintered taste is milder

Mustard - i've several different types of mustard leaves growing

Chicory -Leaf and radicchio

& Coriander, - (just writing this reminds me I should sow even more of this as I always run out)

plus Perpetual spinach and rainbow Chard


The Lettuces

Winter Density, All the Year round, Arctic King, Valdor and my every present pack of Bis di Lattughe from Franchi.

Although i'm lucky enough to have my greenhouse, most of these are hardy enough to go outside in the ground. In fact the chervil was planted in my raised beds last winter, and came through the snows perfectly and kept harvesting until May. For easiest Winter cropping though, if you havn't got a greenhouse, make sure you've got your salads in pots near the back door.

my seeds are from a variety of sources, but my favourite suppliers for winter lettuce are

Sarah Raven

(amazing selection, and some strong selections)

Wiggly Wigglers

(new to the winter salad seed market, but some different varieties that i'll be roadtesting this winter)

Seed Parade

(smaller collection, but great Rocket, Coriander, basic lettuce varieties, all at budget prices)

plus T & M, and Mr Fothergills (the only one I know that does the red veined sorrel)


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Hanna at Orchid Care

As of several years ago, I’ve given up on growing leafy vegetables because the wild rabbits of the area always get to them before I get a chance to. Short of setting up traps that kill them, I’ve tried every other humane deterrent but to no avail.

However, my tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis are thriving beautifully.

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