Salad Days: Intercropping, Limp Lettuce and Nightshade Tomatoes
My Nepalese allotment neighbour's putting me to shame. Not only is she growing a huge amount of blemish free lettuce, she is cleverly intercropping her onions amongst them. I wonder if the smell of the onions is helping to keep the slugs and snails at bay? Much food for thought here going forward...
We also swapped stories of what we use lettuce for in addition to salad. She uses it as a stir fried vegetable, just for a few seconds so the leaves are wilted a bit like we do with spinach sometimes. I countered with using it for soup, especially with older leaves or at the end of summer.
I've been cropping my lettuce leaves grown outside my back door since we came home and made a great discovery after some hasty harvesting earlier in the week. I put my leaves straight into a bag then popped them in the salad crisper in the fridge, only to find some rather limp and forlorn looking lettuce the next day.
The leaves needed a wash if I was to use them, so I decided to give them a nice long soak in some cool water and hey presto! no more limp lettuce. I suspect I wouldn't have had the same result with supermarket bagged salad. Another plus point for growing your own salad leaves :)
I'm doing a number of tomato trials this year and so far my black tomatoes are proving to be the most exciting. This is Indigo Rose, courtesy of Suttons. I've had fruit on my plants since the beginning of May which is the earliest I've ever seen tomatoes fruiting in my garden.
It can't be long until the all important taste test and I can't wait to try them, despite them resembling black nightshade's big brother. Though it would appear that reports of the latter's toxicity may be overstated.
I'll be back to tell you more about these, after the taste test :)
How's your salad faring this month?