Gardening Magazine

The Start of the Salad Season

By Mwillis
With increasing temperatures and (at last) some welcome rain, the vegetables in my garden have started to grow in earnest, rather than just struggling to survive.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been harvesting Radishes, which are normally the first salad veggies to become available each year. This year mine have not been such fine specimens as I usually produce. I think the dry conditions have not suited them at all well, and the slugs seem to have attacked them more than usual too.
The so-called "Daddy Salad" I sowed in a seed-tray has been brilliant though. I have already had four cuts from it, though I do cut the leaves carefully and only take the biggest ones each time.
The start of the Salad season
The pea-shoots have been tasty, if rather scarcer than I had hoped. Not all of the peas germinated; I used old seed, so I suppose that's hardly surprising. However, I notice that they have started to produce a second crop of shoots now.
The start of the Salad season
I have another tray of little lettuce seedlings coming along (mixed varieties). These ones will not be picked as Baby Leaves, but will in due course be planted-out in a raised bed for growing as "proper" lettuces.
The start of the Salad season
In the relevant raised bed I already have a number of lettuces that are rapidly approaching pickable size:
The start of the Salad season
I have one or two specimens of several different types:

The start of the Salad season

The 2 at the top left are "Dubacek", and top right is "Tom Thumb".

I'm not sure what this one is, because it came from a mixed pack.
The start of the Salad season
This is "Redin", a red 'un!
The start of the Salad season
And this is the unmistakeable "Little Gem", a compact Cos / Romaine type.
The start of the Salad season
And this frilly little number is "Lollo Rossa".
The start of the Salad season
In the Right foreground of this next photo you can see my two half-rows of Beetroot.

The start of the Salad season

Behind the Beetroot are Radishes

Here they are in close-up. They're obviously a long way from ready, but they are looking good so far.
The start of the Salad season
Finally, there's the little square mini-bed of Baby Leaf Salad:
The start of the Salad season
There's a bit of everything in there - lettuces, endives, rocket, cress, even a few stray bits of the self-seeded Celery Leaf (which is coming up everywhere!).

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