Tips for growing your own salad vegetables

By the end of summer our Global Garden allotment is bursting at the seams with fruit and veg for display. But if you haven’t got round to sowing or planting your own crops yet, there’s still time...

Lots of nutritious salad crops and baby veg can be sown in containers on a patio or the windowsill, are really quick to germinate, and are ready to harvest in a matter of a few weeks.

As they offer almost instant results, they’re great for gardening with kids. Their large seeds also mean they’re easy for little fingers to sow.

Choose from a wide variety of ‘cut and come again’ salad leaves, spinach, radishes, beetroot, herbs and oriental greens. Here are some of my personal favourites, which can be grown right up until the end of September.

Five late sowing summer vegetables to grow

1. Radish ‘Viola’

This lovely violet coloured radish is really easy to grow. It has large, flavoursome roots – without being too spicy – and is at its best when harvested young. 

When to sow and harvest: Sow up to the end of September, and harvest within five weeks.

2. Beetroot ‘Chioggia’

I love this colourful variety of beetroot with its pink skin and amazing bullseye rings inside. It’s sweet and crispy and tastes delicious both cooked and eaten raw in salads.

When to sow and harvest: Best sown in July for mature roots, but can be sown later and harvested as baby beets.

3. Coriander ‘Calypso’

The ideal ‘cut and come again’ herb, this variety of coriander has great flavour and is really easy to grow. It doesn’t need much space at all, so is perfect for containers or on the windowsill.

When to sow and harvest: Sow up until September. It’ll germinate within two weeks and can be cut three or four times.

4. Rocket ‘Dragon’s Tongue’

A relatively new variety of rocket, Dragon’s Tongue has a lovely peppery flavour and attractive purple veining. It’s also slow to go to seed, so can be harvested for a good long period. Use it in salads and sandwiches, or try it in soups and stir fries.

When to sow and harvest: Sow up until the end of September, and keep cutting and eating.

5. Chop Suey Greens ‘Shungiku’

Another favourite, this is a member of the Chrysanthemum family, (now renamed as Glebionis coronarium). The aromatic leaves can be used in soups, stews and stir fries, the petals make a colourful addition to salads

When to sow and harvest: Sow until autumn. It will germinate very quickly and can be harvested in as little as four weeks as baby leaf.

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