5 top tips for anyone growing salad leaves

If you’ve got a bed of lettuces and salad leaves on the go, then you will find some of these tips handy!

Keep Lettuces & Salad Leaves Cool

Hot temperatures and dry soil will soon lead to these plants bolting and producing flowers. To keep them leafier for longer, keep them cool and well-watered. Watering early in the morning will help. A mulch will help to prevent the soil from getting too hot – you can just cover the soil around the base of plants with a layer of multipurpose compost or some straw – and a little shade is good too, so if you’re growing in pots you could try moving them to partial shade.

Pick Leaves Regularly

The more you pick the larger, outer leaves, the longer the plants will carry on growing. Even if you can’t eat all that salad, it is better to keep picking it and either give it to friends and neighbours, or pop it on the compost pile. Have a watch of our video for easy harvesting for cut & come again salads.

Store Leaves in a Bag in the Fridge

We find the best way to store salad leaves is to give them a quick rinse, let them dry off and then pop them in a food bag and into the fridge. If they do start to wilt a little, you can refresh them in a bowl of cold water for half an hour before draining. They should perk up nicely.

Use Mixed Leaves & Edible Flowers

For a sensational summer salad, pick a range of different leaves from a mixture of plants – red lettuces, green lettuces, wild rocket, mizuna, mustard leaves and so on. They just look and taste so much better as a mixture. Also, take the petals of calendula or some viola flowers to decorate the salad – it makes all the difference!

Make a Quick Dressing

If you’re short on time, this dressing is an absolute life saver – 3tbsp oil, juice of 1 small lemon, pinch of sea salt – just pop the ingredients in a jam jar, get the lid on and shake it up.