Thursday, June 07, 2007

Salad days

One little innovation this year has actually been in my back garden, and not on the allotment at all.

I've got two little awkward squares, in between some fencing panels, which I had been trying to make a herb garden from (they're about 5ft x 2ft and you couldn't do much else with them). Unfortunately they've turned out a bit too shady for the herbs - I managed to get some nice low rosemary hedges going as edging, but that's about it.

So I've converted them into salad gardens, since lettuce and salad leaves tend to like it shady, and it's conveniently close to the kitchen so you get your salad stuff as fresh as it's possible to have it. This niftily solves the other problem I had with growing lettuce - that by the time you'd picked it on the allotment, finished whatever else you were doing and brought it home, it had started to go limp. And by the time suppertime came round, it was really pretty sad!

So now I've evicted the remaining herbs (though I've kept the rosemary hedges) and have some fairly tight-packed rows of lettuces growing happily. Varieties so far have been Lollo Rosso and Salad Bowl for cut-and-come-again, and the compact variety Tom Thumb for whole lettuces. We've been tucking in - and it's been a great success, really delicious lettuce and as much as we can eat. The idea is that once we eat through one row, I'll replace it with other varieties - next to go in is a salad mixture from Thompson & Morgan. Not sure quite what's in it but it'll be interesting to find out!

Salad is one of the few crops I should be able to keep going all year round, so I'm expecting big things of this little patch. Cue yet more planning and seed-buying as we move through the summer into autumn...!

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