Summer salads just aren't the same without a collection of colourful leaves. Plant a range of lettuce, spinach, kale, silver beet and even beetroot (leaves with a bonus tuber) to keep your family in greens all Summer long.
How to grow your own greens
The salad greens you buy in the supermarket or green grocer's are fast turn-around crops often treated with lots of fertilisers and other sprays to ensure they perform well and are disease and pest free.
Growing your own greens guarantees you fresh, tasty produce where you know exactly what's been used to help them grow.
Fortunately, growing salad greens couldn't be easier.
Sow seed around 2-3cm deep in rows about 25-30cm apart. Lightly cover with soil and then moisten soil by watering gently.
Plant seedlings carefully, making sure you leave enough room (15-20cm) between each to accommodate a full size plant.
Protect seedlings from snails and slugs by surrounding them with sawdust, ash and/or sand. Snails and slugs do not like these dry materials and will avoid them if there is something else they can eat more easily.
When these pests are present in large numbers, spread Defender Snail & Slug Pellets to eradicate them.
Thin seed-raised seedlings to make sure that each plant has ample room to grow unimpeded. The 'thinnings' can be transplanted to other areas of the garden or potted up and given to friends as presents.
Fertilise your greens with Scotts Osmocote® Boost+Feed Vegetables, Tomatoes & Herbs every 4-6 weeks to improve overall plant health while increasing resistance to drought, frost, disease and insect attacks.
Harvest as required, picking only the leaves you need. Most greens will continue to grow from the centre if the outer leaves only are harvested.
Salad greens sown or planted in Spring can often be kept productive right through to Autumn. In addition to liquid fertiliser every month or so, add some Scotts Performance Naturals™ Vegetable & Herb Organic Based Fertiliser at the start of each season.
Water morning and/or night, especially when it's hot or windy. Temporary shade can also be beneficial on the hottest days when soft greens like lettuce may wilt rapidly or be sunburned and become tough.