Autumn Salads in pots and window boxes

Growing salads in pots or window boxes is a great option for those of us who don’t get many spare daytime hours to tend to the veg patch over autumn and winter. The leaves will simply grow away ready for you to harvest as and when you need them. There are some good varieties to choose from, from Winter Lettuces and Corn Salad┬áto more tasty leaves like Landcress, Mizuna and Frills Mustard.

To start with, all you need is a couple of pots outside the front door or on a balcony if you have one, or a few window boxes on windowsills that get a good dose of sunlight during the daytime. Keeping outdoor pots close to the building keeps them that little bit more sheltered from frost and wind, making it an easy way to grow. Fill your pots with fresh compost and add a handful of wormcast fertiliser for an extra boost, then you’re ready to plant.

As a general rule, try to give each plant approximately 10cm growing space. So if you have a 30cm long windowbox, 3 plants would be a good bet. You could just squeeze a fourth in, but any more might be pushing your luck! We sell our plants in sets of 10, so club together with a neighbour or friend if you don’t have space, or donate some extra plants to your local school. Remember, it is still going to be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying bagged salads all through the winter!

Looking after your plants is easy, as there will be few weeds and slugs to contend with. The only real problem you might face is bad weather, mainly strong winds and cold spells, but if your pots are fairly sheltered then they should be fine. For those that are growing indoors, remember to keep them well watered, and watch out when you turn the heating on – you’re better off keeping them away from radiators so that they don’t get too hot!!