Sowing seed of salad leaves in lengths of guttering can help keep your seedlings safe from slugs and snails, and enable you to transplant the whole row into the soil as and when soil space becomes available. Short, 1m lengths of guttering are convenient and easy to handle. When the salad seeds germinate, simply grow them on for two to four weeks and then slide the plants into their final growing positions.
You Will Need
- Salad seeds
- Lengths of guttering
- Hand saw
- Duct tape
- Multi-purpose, peat-free compost
- Watering can with rose attachment
Saw the guttering to a manageable size and remove any ends. Replace each end with a large piece of Gaffa tape, which will keep the compost in place but can easily be removed when you transplant the seedings into the soil.
Fill the guttering with moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost and gently firm down. Create a shallow drill in the centre of the compost and sow seeds sparingly along it.
Use your thumb and forefinger to replace the compost over the seed and firm gently.
Transfer the lengths of guttering to your greenhouse or cold frame, and water the compost with a watering can with a fine rose attached.
Seed should germinate within a few days. Leave to grow on for up to four weeks before planting out in the soil. Don’t forget to keep plants well watered, especially in hot weather.
Your salad leaf seedlings will be ready to transplant when their roots fill the compost in the guttering. Use a garden trowel to make a wide, shallow drill in prepared soil. Then simply remove the gaff tape from one end of the guttering and gently slide the seedlings in place. Water them in thoroughly.
Sow more seeds at two-week intervals to provide a continuous supply of leaves for salads.