How to grow a summer salad
27th June 2019
Learn how to grow a summer salad in one pot!
You can’t beat the flavours of a fresh salad – crisp lettuce, partnered with cooling cucumber and juicy tomatoes. Lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes are great to grow in the garden and with the hot weather almost here - who wouldn’t want to have all of these salad crops in one place? Or, even better, in one pot!
Find an extra-large pot or a container and fill it with a good-quality compost. You can also place some crocks (small pieces of broken clay pots or polystyrene) in the bottom to help retain moisture and water it well. Place the cucumber plant at the back of the pot, as this will grow tall. If you’re planning on growing a cordon (indeterminate) tomato variety, this will also need to be planted at the back of pot as these can reach up to 1.8m in height. It will however need to be provided with some support.
Plant lettuces and bush (determinate) tomato plants towards what will be the front of the pot. Bush tomatoes are best - as these will tumble down and won’t require staking. Your lettuce plants will grow to around mid-height depending on the variety. Keep the plants well-irrigated to stop the roots from drying out.
Your lettuce might need to be trimmed back to keep it in check. Feed plants with a liquid feed to make sure they’re getting adequate nutrition from the growing medium.
Your cucumbers will be ready to harvest once they’re young and tender, with a crisp skin and flesh. Snip them carefully from the plant with a pair of scissors to avoid damaging the stem.
The tomatoes should be picked when coloured and ripe. Cut-and-come-again lettuce leaves can be snipped from the plant as and when they are needed.
To make up the summer salad, collect the fresh ingredients, which will be best used straight after harvest, as these will still be packed full of flavour and nutrients. Ensure these are clean and there are no signs of pests present, such as aphids.
Chop the cucumber into rounds, and slice the juicy tomatoes. You can put the lettuce leaves in whole or tear them up. Do this just before serving so the vegetables retain their crunch. Drizzle a delicious dressing over the top (our favourite is balsamic vinegar or honey mustard!) and enjoy!
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