Many homes in town or sub-burban areas often have little or no space to grow even the simplest of crops!

The following information will show that with a little effort it is often quite easy to grow herbs and salad crops even in the smallest of spaces.

This procedure can be carried out on a tiny border in a small garden, in containers on a balcony / patio, or in growbags or a flat pack coldframe placed in convenient places.

With a little planning and careful selection of cultivars, and using a technique called successional sowing, it is quite easy to grow salads all the year round.

Flat pack coldframe

Successional sowing is basically sowing a little seed often, as opposed to making larger sowings as you would in a larger garden.

Sowing a pinch of various quick growing seeds at fortnightly intervals can ensure a regular harvest rather than the glut you can often get with larger sowings.

For example sowing small hearting and / or cut-and-come-again varieties of lettuce will take 10-12 weeks to mature, meaning, crops such as these can be sown indoors in February for an early start, then followed by outside sowings from March to August.

Such a procedure could mean you are harvesting fresh produce from April through to October.

Various Types of Lettuce

Crops of corn salad (lamb's lettuce) endive, rocket, radish leaf, and perpetual spinach can also be grown in the same manner.

Some cultivares may even re-grow to give a second a third flush of leaves after cutting.

There is often no need to thin out cut-and-come-again salads as such, that is, you can remove and eat the weakest plants and leave the strongest plants to grow on.

Onions are another example that is suited to successional sowing, for example bulbing types, bunching types or spring onions can be grown and pulled as required.

With these sow the seed in short rows or patches and don't thin them out as you would if growing them to their potential.

Eventually they will bulb up to be eaten as normal cooking onions or salad onions, or for that matter pickle them.

Spring or Bunching Onions

The key to success in each case is to make regular successive sowings to ensure that crops are available for cutting after the first sowings are finished.

For winter salads, grow hardy plants such as spinach, corn salad, rocket, hardy lettuce and land cress.

Mustard, curled cress and bean sprouts on moist kitchen towel or in food containers with a little vermiculite in the bottom.

Basically choice of subjects is only limited to what the individual is prepared to experiment with!


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