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Starting off winter salad crops

For seamless progress from summer into autumn, pull up summer lettuces as soon as they flower. Work in fresh compost with a fork to revive the soil, then replant with pre-sown or shop-bought plugs of hardy salads.

Also, in August, begin sowing salads for overwintering. Sow through to mid-September so they reach perfect picking size before the cold slows growth.

Grow the salads in a raised bed, as below, divided into sections for different varieties, to make it easier to protect crops from the cold. They'll survive chilly weather outside, but use cloches and fleece to keep your salad leaves looking fresh and pristine.

Discover salad crops to sow in August, below.


Pak choi 'Rubi' F1

Pak choi variety 'Rubi' wins winter beauty contests, hands down. Broad lime-green stems contrast fetchingly with flared burgundy leaves, darkening to deepest purple in frost.

Lettuce 'Black Seeded Simpson'

This lettuce is among the finest flavoured lettuces that can be grown. It has rumpled, generous leaves, that are super-hardy, even out in the open.

Corn salad

Corn salad is slow to get going, but do persevere because its delicately flavoured leaves last right through winter, growing enthusiastically in the slightest spell of sunshine.

Komatsuna

Komatsuna is an easy-to-grow Oriental salad with an interesting, mild-cabbage flavour. It's very hardy, but a covering of horticultural fleece will prevent any cold damage to leaves.

Spring onion 'White Lisbon Winter Hardy'

'White Lisbon Winter Hardy' is the winter-proof version of the old favourite, the spring onion. Sow successionally from August up to mid-October. Tops can be snipped in midwinter and bulbs harvested in February.

Mustard 'Red Frills'

Red Frills is a pretty Oriental mustard with filigree purple-stained leaves. Its flavour packs a peppery punch - a little goes a long way.




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