Harvested winter salad

How to grow winter salad

Find out how to enjoy winter salads by planting them out in autumn.

Do it:

Sep

Takes just:

one hour

At its best:

Jan, Feb, Oct, Nov, Dec

Plenty of salad crops can grow outside in winter with a little protection - the key is to get them in the ground in early autumn. At this time, the soil is still warm seedlings or plug plants will establish quickly when planted out. You could even sow seeds direct.

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. Sow them in late summer, in seed trays. You could also sow seeds direct. 

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

Plant out the seedlings 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 will encourage strong plant growth in autumn, and protect them from the worst of the weather in winter.

Advertisement

Pot

Sowing seeds

You can also sow seeds in pots or window boxes - sow every week or so from August to mid-autumn for a continuous supply. Keep the pot near the back door so you can pop out easily to harvest a handful of leaves.

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to sow salad seeds in guttering

How to sow tomato seeds

How to grow rocket leaves from seed

Related offers

Offer

Save £17 on blackcurrants

Enjoy the delicious taste of fresh, home-grown blackcurrants for less. You can buy one blackcurrant 'Ben Connan' for £9.99, or save £17.98 when you buy three for just £11.99.

Order now

Offer

20 free* strawberry plants

Claim your collection of 20 strawberry bare-root plants (worth over £21) for free - *just pay £5.95 for postage. Please add the strawberry collection to your basket and enter our offer code to claim your discount.

Use code: GWD17STRAW

Order now

Offer

Wheelbarrow - save £50

Buy this sturdy wheelbarrow for just £49.99 (normally £99.99) at Clifford James. It has plenty of capacity and with its weight balanced over two wheels, it's easy to move around with one or both hands.

Order now