Winter Salads – A Winters Delight

Hi all.

Today I thought I would talk about the winter salads that I grow at my allotment, especially now that Autumn is approaching.

On the 14th August I sowed some winter hardy lettuces, mizuna, corn salad, perpetual spinach and winter hardy spring onions.  As the weather was still warm then, they germinated in just four days which I was quite amazed at:

SAM_7242

This week they were big enough to plant out:

SAM_7376

I cleared away some of my old crops in my polytunnel and then raked in some ‘Blood, fish and bone’ before planting them all out.

SAM_7377 SAM_7378

.

All the above salads are great to grow all through the winter.  All they need is a bit of protection i.e. under a cloche, cold frame, a cold greenhouse or polytunnel.

I tend to treat the salads like cut and come again leaves, as I just pick a few leaves from the outside of each plant each time we want a salad to go with our meal.  This way the plants continue to ‘heart up’ in the centre.

SAM_6253

The photo below shows some different leaves I picked on a winters day at the beginning of the year.  There are two different winter hardy lettuces, corn salad leaves, mizuna, winter hardy spring onions and ‘baby’ perpetual spinach leaves.

SAM_6046

They all make a lovely salad mixed together:

SAM_6252

.

The two photos below show the salads growing last year in my polytunnel:

SAM_5009 SAM_5800

The photo on the right shows the corn salad, mizuna and some younger winter lettuces.

I like growing mizuna as I particularly like the peppery taste of it in a mixed salad and as it’s a brassica, it looks beautiful when it eventually flowers in Spring and attracts the first butterflies of the year:

SAM_6187 SAM_6188

.

Winter salads are usually sown in August and September and grow slowly over the winter under protection.  They have a lower proportion of water than summer lettuces, which is why they survive after being frozen.

A few winter salads you may like to try are winter hardy lettuces (I use a variety called ‘Artic King), mizuna, rocket, corn salad (lambs lettuce), mustards, winter purslane, land cress and winter hardy spring onions.

If you haven’t tried growing winter salads then have a go and I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

SAM_5799

Thank you for reading my blog today.

I will be back on Monday at the usual time.

Advertisements

13 thoughts on “Winter Salads – A Winters Delight

  1. I planted some around the same time and a slug has eaten them all. Boy do I hate slugs. I will be sowing some more this weekend!

  2. We are still fighting the battle of the slugs ! I’m going to have to get my self a ‘pet’ hedgehog! Very interesting post .A bit of green salad is always welcome in the winter, especially when it’s so expensive in the shops I might try some Ive got a mesh tunnel & will try to remember to cover it with fleece if a frost is promised.

    • Carriet you have my deepest sympathy over the slugs! I live in Victoria, Australia, and I swear all the neighbourhoods slugs and snail masses originate from our back yard!!

    • Have a look above at my reply to ‘queen of string’ re the slug as they are so fascinating. That’s a good idea re your tunnel. I would leave the fleece over it all winter and not bother to remove it, just make sure there is enough ventilation so your lettuces don’t suffer with grey mould.

  3. I have to say, yet again, that I am so jealous of your polytunnel! Everything looks so healthy in it. Do you water it by hand or do you have a sprinkler system set up? How often do you water?

    • Hi Mrs Yub. I am very lucky to have a polytunnel and even more luckier because it was left to me by my old allotment neighbour (though I would rather him still have an allotment as I do miss my chats with him, but he was elderly and it got too much for him).
      I have four big water tubs that I use with my watering can, but in the hottest months I use a hosepipe connected to a sprinkler which saves me so much time. When it’s hot in summer I give it a good water every other day, but now it’s far less frequent.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s