How to grow winter salad

Do it:

Sep

Takes just:

one hour

Plenty of salad crops can grow outside in winter, if given a little protection. In early autumn, the soil is still warm enough to sow seeds direct, while plug plants or seedlings planted out will establish quickly.

Choose hardy varieties of your favourite salad leaves, or experiment with more unusual crops such as winter purslane and salad burnet. One of the most reliable winter leaf crops is corn salad, or lamb's lettuce, Valerianella locusta.

Grow plants in a sheltered, sunny spot, to protect them from cold winter winds. Ensure the soil is free-draining, as plants can freeze if left standing in pools of icy water.

You will need

  • Plug plants, seedlings or seed of winter salad, including corn salad, land cress, lettuce, wild rocket and mustard
  • Trowel and fork
  • Watering can
  • Cloche

Advertisement

In summer sow salads of winter purslane, lamb's lettuce, land cress and salad burnet in shallow rows or seed trays. When they are established in late summer to autumn, plant them out to encourage them to put on growth before winter sets in. Space them at 10cm intervals in rows 20cm apart, and water well. If you don't have seedlings to plant out, you can usually buy plug plants from garden centres and mail order companies.

For best results, cover plants with a sturdy cloche. The warmer temperature inside the cloche will encourage strong plant growth in autumn, and protect them from the worst of the weather in winter.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to sow salad seeds in guttering

How to grow rocket leaves from seed

How to sow tomato seeds

Related offers

Offer

Seed sowing masterclass

Learn everything you need to know about seed sowing on David Hurrion's information-packed masterclass. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Use code: GW Masterclass

Order now

Offer

Save £5 on shallots and garlic

Now is a great time to plant shallots and garlic for a harvest later on this year. You'll save £5 when you buy four packs (two of each) of shallot 'Vigarmore' and garlic 'Solent Wight' fpr just £14.80.

Order now

Offer

Save £10 on baking potatoes

Save a total £10 on this tricolour potato collection, comprising three great baking varieties, three growing sacks, fertiliser and a free packet of chive seeds. Enter code at checkout to save an additional £5 (a total of £10 off the RRP).

Use code: POTK5

Order now