How to grow salad

Growing salad definitely saves you cash.

Organically grown lettuce or a bag of loose leaf from the supermarket are never cheap.

Yet despite its cost in the shops, salad is really easy to grow.

You can start doing it in spring and carry on through the summer.

The trick if you’re growing before April is getting the right variety and sowing indoors: a windowledge is perfect.

Decent garden centres will have lots of choice of variety. The appropriately named All Year Round is a good bet.

Sprinkle seeds on to compost then add a little more compost. You're aiming for plants about 3-4cm apart, so when seedlings appear, thin them out if you have to. Give the container a half-turn daily so all seedlings get some light.

When seedlings show two strong leaves, they are ready to plant in the garden or outdoor container - about 25cm apart if you're going to let them grow to full size.

To do this, gently hold a leaf and dig out the plant roots along with a nice dollop of compost. An old spoon is a useful tool.

Or you can leave the plants to carry on growing as they are to harvest as young leaves. 

If you’re doing this, wait until the leaves reach about 6-8cm and harvest by cutting about 1-2cm from the compost they are in.

Water what's left and more leaves should grow to replace them in a method known as cut-and-come-again.

That's excellent value for a fraction of a pack of seeds.

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