Grow your own salad leaves
Enjoy eating home-grown salad leaves this season.
When to plant...
In most areas, salad leaves can be sown and harvested from spring to autumn, and thrive in cooler condition; sow summer crops in the shade.
Have several pots at different stages for a constant supply, sowing the next crop when the seedlings in the previous pot begin to appear.
Let's get going!
1. Cover drainage holes in the bottom of a large pot with a 5cm (2in) layer of broken up polystyrene, bottle corks, or washed stones from the garden. Fill with multi-purpose compost to about 2.5cm (1in) below the pot's rim. Level, then gently firm the surface with the palm of your hand or a block of wood.
Draw lines about 2.5cm (1in) deep with your finger or the top of a pencil and sow the seed thinly. Put the container on a sunny patio, then water, using a fine 'rose' on the watering can. Watch out for slugs - remove them by hand or use traps.
3. Harvest with a pair of scissors when the leaves are 2.5cm-7.5cm (1in-3in) tall. Once they are the required height, cut them carefully, to avoid damaging the smaller seedlings below.