Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 23 August 2013

Salad Days: Getting It Taped


I've cleared the alliums from the raised beds and whilst I'm waiting for them to dry - so I can finally assess the results of my biochar experiment - I've started off some new leaves for our autumn salads.

To keep the spirit of experimentation going, I'm using some of the seed tapes which Simple Sowing have kindly given me to try. I've tried some seed tapes before and been quite critical of the limited range on offer, so it's great to have a much wider range to play with.

I used my trusty onion hoe* to mark out the rows and then watered them as I usually do when sowing seed. This turned out to be a wise move as the damp soil prevented the tape from blowing away when I laid it on top. Each tape is 1.67 metres long, so I had to trim it to size. I quickly learnt I need to keep my hands dry for this part of the operation, and for putting the tape back into its bag.

I've sown four types of lettuce ('Little Gem', 'Lollo Rosso', 'Marveille de Quatre Saisons' and 'Salad Bowl'), plus some rocket and a chicory, 'Treviso Rosso'. I also sowed some conventional seed - land cress, 'Bull's Blood' beet, 'Green in Snow' mustard and a new lettuce 'Intred'. It'll be interesting to see how evenly I've managed to sow these compared to the seed tapes**. I have another raised bed to clear soon which I'll use to try some turnips***, kale and quick grow radish seed tapes.

Elsewhere this month, I've used some of the bolting lettuce to make lettuce and ginger soup (nicely warming when the weather turned cooler last week) and I've also learnt tomato leaves are edible. Apparently a few leaves added to any tomato based dish really help to enhance the flavour. That seems reasonable, though I'm not sure I'll add them to a tomato salad...
How's your salad faring this month? Mr Linky is waiting below to take your salad related post, or else you just leave a comment as usual. Any experiences of using tomato leaves in cooking are also welcome.

* = it's much more versatile than that; it's probably the garden tool I use the most. And all for a mere £1.50 from Dorset Steam Fair a few years ago :)

** = on past form they'll be rubbish ;)

*** = our site has a reputation for not being able to grow turnips and swede, it'll be interesting to see if the combination of a raised bed and seed tape cures the problem.


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    The 52 Week Salad Challenge is sponsored by Greenhouse Sensation.

    Note to readers: sponsorship goes towards my blogging costs and does not affect my independence.





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    10 comments:

    1. I have salad leaves coming out of my ears atm so I give quite a lot of them to my chooks who adore salad leaves just as much as I do.

      Good luck with growing them over winter. Did that last year and all went well until Dutchland suddenly moved to the North Pole. Brr.

      XX Yolanda

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Yolanda - lovely to see you! Quite a bit of my growing moves indoors over winter, but the kale, land cress and lamb's lettuce seem to stand up well outside when it's brrr :)

        Delete
    2. I've failed spectacularly to plant any salad for weeks now. Must do better.

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi CJ - the great thing about salads is you can start at any time, even in January! Have a look at my 52 Week Salad Challenge Page for all kinds of tips and ideas if you need some help to get started. Now is the ideal time to sow things like mizuna, mustards, lamb's lettuce, land cress and chicories which will come good for late autumn and early winter :)

        Delete
    3. I've never used seed tapes. I'll be very interested to see your results.
      Have a great week-end!
      Lea
      Lea's Menagerie

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. They're really easy to use, Lea and they're especially good for fiddly seed like lettuce. I'm pleased to see a range which has a lot more choice, most of what's on sale elsewhere is usually the crops and/or varieties I don't particularly want to grow.

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    4. Oops don't think I got the idea of the linky thing, I thought I was entering a comment - sorry early morning! Never used seed tapes so looking forward to seeing the results and edible tomato leaves is a new fact that I'll be taking away, thanks very much!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Hi Damo - always glad to oblige :)

        I've amended the linky so it goes to your post about your wonderful new potting shed and how your tomatoes are faring.

        Delete
    5. We've got a second wave of salad just coming up so hopefully we'll be able to enjoy that soon. The seed tapes look intriguing - I look forward to seeing how you get on with them.

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      Replies
      1. They've been good so far. There are pros and cons to blog about - which I thought I'd done already, but the post with the info for once is eluding me...

        Delete

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