Salad Days

Are here again. The first of the lettuce was eaten last night, alongside an omelette and new pots. To taste home grown lettuce after a long cold winter is not only heavenly but a taste of more to come.

Back in September last year I sowed lettuce Valdor (from Nicky’s Seeds) a winter lettuce described as ” Lettuce Valdor is considered to be one of the best winter hardy butterhead type lettuce. It has solid dark green heads can be cut spring from an autumn sowing. Grow outdoor with crop protection of cloche, fleece etc.”

‘Valdor’ Lettuce

Last year was my first attempt at “proper” winter growing, I’ve always planted garlic, kale, PSB and the like but had never tried  to really extend my growing season and therefore my choice of veg on my plate over winter. So back in July through to early Sept I sowed radish and various salads to see what would grow, survive a wet cold winter and be edible come mid winter
/ early spring.  Some veg were plan ted out on the plot, with next to no protection and others in pots in the garden. As a
first attempt I’ve been chuffed to bits and can, I’m sure, build upon my scant knowledge – read good luck – and really get some good tasty crops during winter when are days are short and cold.

I sowed the Valdor in early September into small window boxes or mushroom crates lined with old plastic compost sacks, using spent compost from the chillies and tomatoes. They germinated fine and grew to a max of 3 or 4  inches high with a handful of leaves each. I placed the pots into my cheapo plastic greenhouse (which has tears in and doesn’t zip up properly…) which is tied to a wall in the garden. The sun is on it from mid morning until mid afternoon. December brought us snow, but the placcy  seemed to give them just enough insulation to survive.

Snow and Salads

Being away for almost 2 months I expected everything to have died back, but the salads in pots were doing just fine, and I planted them out on the plot at the end of February with a bit of fleece protection or some plastic bottle cloches, and looking at them this week, they are hearting up and are ready to eat

Salad days……

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