Can you have your Salad greens in Autumn and eat them? Yes, you can and you should! And Here is why…
Easy to grow and beautiful to boot — salad gardens are easy to love. You can plant an Autumn salad garden After your summer crops are finished. Lettuce and other salad makings are among the first crops to plant in spring. This is because they like cooler conditions so Autumn is perfect for them too. As a self-confessed salad lover, we often would spend 5 euro a week on salad greens when I can’t get them from my garden. That is a good reason enough to work up a little sweat planting a second season salad garden. So by planting a few seeds, you can save money.
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It’s a simple garden task that leads to fast rewards. Clear off a patch of ground in a spot that’s convenient to water, sow some seeds.Soon your salad patch will start spewing out tasty morsels in only a few weeks.
What Salad Greens in Autumn, should you Grow?
First and foremost in any salad garden is lettuce. Lettuce comes in such an amazing array of colours and textures.
Did your spring Lettuce get tall and bitter before you could eat it all? Some of the frilliest lettuce varieties can’t wait to bolt when days are getting longer and warmer in spring. But in the Autumn garden, they hold much longer. If you need to buy more seeds I highly recommend the following
- Winter Density A dwarf, compact lettuce with crisp, succulent, dark green hearts.Very popular for autumn sowing; can also be sown outdoors in spring and early summer. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner.
- Mixed Lettuce Seeds A superb blend of Red, Cos, red-tinged Batavia and Oak-leaf lettuce varieties. Why buy salad leaves from the supermarket when you can grow them easily at home? And you can get up to 3 crops from the same sowing!
Spinach makes a great Autumn salad green, too. And in Ireland, Autumn-sown spinach can be left in the garden until Spring. When the cold-ravaged plants bounce back and give you more growth. I grow mine under frost protection to fight the worst of the weather in Winter. Varieties we have planted this year include
- Amazon F1 – A fast-growing true type spinach which has attractive round, dark green foliage which is delicious as baby leaves. Ideal for spring and autumn growing
- Perpetual Spinach Hardy and useful for autumn and winter dishes.
I adore Spinach so I always grow plenty.
Oriental Salad green Vegetables
The names of many of these leafy salad plants give a clue to their ever-increasing popularity; mustard golden streaks, ruby streaks, red and green frills, red giant, Osaka and green in the snow are all highly ornamental, colourful and tasty additions to the winter salad bowl as are the decorative leaves of mibuna and mizuna.
There’s still time to sow seeds of these very hardy and rapid-growing salad crops outdoors, either into a pot or into modules for later planting outdoors. We are trying them in our small greenhouse as a cover crop
Get a free Copy of my Oriental Salad Growing Guide to help you grow some tasty greens
The jewel-like prettiness of Swiss chard bright lights is a wonderful sight in any garden. Its glossy leaves and brightly coloured Stems of silver, yellow, ruby-red pink, orange are a lovely addition to either a salad or a stir-fry. The last sowing date for outdoor crops has passed but you can still pick up module-raised plants in good garden centres relatively cheaply.
Treat it as a cut-and-come-again crop, protect from cold winds and frost, and pick individual leaves while they are still young, tender and packed full of vitamins.
Spring Onions/ Scallions
Scallions are a bit slow to grow from seeds in Autumn. But you can be assured of a ready supply of tender green onions if you buy a slender bunch with roots at the supermarket, trim the tops back to half their length, and stick them into moist soil. We haven’t planted seeds in a long time. Scallions will overwinter in an Irish Garden despite being “Spring Onions”
Pest to Worry About in your Autumn Salad Garden
Snails and slugs are one of the greatest pests we encounter in our vegetable garden in Autumn. Dense growth of established plants such as sage, oregano, lemongrass and mint and lots of pots provide them with a place to shelter and breed.
A routine that works in my vegetable garden to reduce the number of snails and slugs is:
- At the end of summer remove any pots from the garden that are not in use – snails and slugs love to shelter under and behind them.
- Lift up the any pots that border your vegetable garden at least once a week and remove snails and slugs sheltering under them.
- Keep drop leafs to a minimum( add them to the compost or Leaf mold)
- Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the new plants
- Hunt the blighters with a torch at night
- And my new weapon is my Slug Inns which I fill with cheap beer.
I find the steps above are effective in my garden during autumn.
So what to will you do with all this tasty Salad from your Autumn Garden my advice is serve it with my Tasty Raspberry Balsamic Salad Dressing. The Autumn Raspberries in the Snapshot and Snippets Garden are perfect for this recipe.
Raspberry Balsamic Salad Dressing
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
The How to Bit
- Mix raspberries and sugar together in a bowl; set aside until mixture is juicy, about 10 minutes.
- Mash berries using a fork until liquefied.
- Pour berry mixture into a jar with a lid; add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, honey, and salt.
- Cover the jar with a lid and shake until dressing is mixed well.
- Store in refrigerator for a week
I hope you enjoyed this post and you can find more posts about the Autumn Garden here
- Is Autumn a good time to Plant Fruit trees?
- The Organic Vegetable Garden October Jobs
- How to grow organic Cabbages all year
- Autumn Garden Update with Crab Apple Jelly Recipe
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