Gardening Magazine

Luscious Leaves

By Charlottsgarden @charlottsgarden

Let me tell you this, we eat a lot of leafy greens in our house so this season one of the things I’m focusing on is to attempt to supply us with luscious leaves throughout the year. Hopefully their will be no more bags of leaves going slimy in my fridge after just a few days of opening  and I will be able to cut fresh leaves straight from my Kitchen Garden.


One of the most common leaves to grow for our salads is lettuce today’s varieties are likely to have been developed from Lactuca serriola  the Wild Lettuce.  Lettuce is thought to have been cultivated by the Egyptians. The Greek physician Hippocrates born in Cos 456 BC  wrote about its soporific effects. Basically the white bitter sap can send you into a drowsy sleepy state.

The Romans are though to have introduced Lettuce to Britain the varieties consumed at the time were most likely blanched to reduce the bitter taste.

Lettuce and be divided into the following forms:

  • Butterhead – Loose heads and buttery textured leaves
  • Loose Leaf – Loose heads and soft leaves
  • Romain/Cos – Conical heads and crisp leaves with fleshy mid ribs
  • Iceberg – Cabbage like head and crisp leaves ( this was a type introduced in the 1930 and is called Iceberg lettuce due to it being stored in mounds of lettuce covered in ice)

Endive the annual cousin of the perennial Chicory and relative of the Lettuce,  mentioned by the Greek and Roman by poets such as Aristophanes and Horace. Endive and Chicory have both a long history of cultivation in the Mediterranean.  The first evidence of cultivation in England  was found in John Rays Historia Plantarum in the 17th century.  Endive is often blanched to reduce its bitterness this is achieved by placing an upturned bowl or a bucket on the fully grown plant for a few weeks before eating.

Another leaf I’m currently growing in our garden is Mizuna a green belonging to the Brassica family that is widely grown in Japan.  The great thing about Mizuna is that you can eat it raw in salads or cook it adding it to stir fries and such.


I sowed Leaves: Lettuce ‘All Year Round’ ,  Endive ‘Pencalieri’ and  Mizuna seeds in early March in paper pots filled with seed compost. And planted them out in blocks about 20 cm apart. They are still looking tiny and I hope that they will fill out soon. I  will be sowing more shortly in order to hopefully achieve a continuous harvest.

I positioned some old cut in half citrus fruits around my salad leaves area and hopefully they will prove enough of an distraction to the slugs. We will be getting our very own chickens soon so watch out slugs venture in my garden and you will be fed to the Chickens!

I would love top hear which leafy green you like growing?


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