Our mini raised beds hewn, out of old furniture, are packed with thriving salad leaves. Here’s a list of our five favourite grow-it-yourself salad box veg…
We’ve previously praised these posh peppery leaves for their versatility in both the food and drinks departments. They grow thick and fast – perfect for regular cutting.
Seeds sown: Rucola Selvatica, Sgaravatti seeds*
Also known as Japanese mustard, California peppergrass and spider mustard, it’s another fast and vigorous grower. You can allow it to develop into full, leafy specimens or pick as a cut-and-come-again salad. Its mild peppery tang makes it a great salad leaf whic can also be used in stir fried dishes.
Seeds sown: Mizuna, Mr Fothergill’s seeds
Of all the mixed salad options available, mesclun is our favourite. It’s a traditional assortment deriving from Provence, France and is likely to include chervil, sorrel, chard, lamb’s lettuce and the aforementioned mizuna and rocket.
Seeds sown: Mesclun, Mr Fothergill’s seeds
Tasty, nutritious and easy to grow, spinach churns out fresh leaves at a fair lick and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked. We’ve opted for the maximum leaf coverage of spinach beet in our beds.
Seeds sown: Spinach beet, perpetual spinach, Mr Fothergill’s seeds
Somewhat neglected in the UK, chicory is a great addition to the salad box. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, many adding unusual colours and bitter flavours to salads (when picked young) and cooked dishes. Having said that, our chicory choice for this year is a long, thin, green leafed variety known as ‘Catalogna Puntarelle’.
Seeds sown: Catalgona puntarelle a foglia stretta, Lito BM*
*Note: We got sent some fancy Italian seeds (rocket and chicory) which aren’t available in the UK. But fear not, there are plenty of other choices out there.