Thursday, 9 October 2008

A Nice Green Leaf: Going on about salad, No.3

New_book_coverBy Emma Townshend

Yeah, I'm still going on about salad. Firstly, I hope you all have a copy of this book. I know it's winter, but salad is one of the few fresh things you can just keep on growing and growing over the cold months. And, frankly, what with people going on about the Wall Street Crash this week a little bit too much for my liking, I'm deeply ready for being distracted by the idea of growing something tasty and green that costs about 5p.

Everybody knows that bags of pre-washed salad are one of the biggest rip-offs in the supermarket, but it's hard to get motivated to grow your own. However I think Charles Dowding does a wicked job in this book. 

The secret to winter salad seems to be to get the sowing schedule right. You can do a big lot all in one go, but actually what you need is to sow regularly. This is particularly true in winter because the leaves take much longer to grow, so if you leave a gap of a week in sowing you'll have a three-week gap in picking. And best thing about winter salad: it's so spicy that slugs and snails take no notice of it! HURRRAAYYYYYYYY.

So my question to you now is: what are the tastiest mixes you've tried for winter leaves? I'm growing a really nice red mustard mix from Jekka's Herb Farm and a Seeds of Italy lamb's tongue, but I'd appreciate any tips for, or warnings against other packets.

PS. On Charles D's jobs for the month he says the ninth is the perfect day to get the garlic in if you garden by the light of the moon.

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