Still Time To Enjoy Those Salad Days

by admin on June 13, 2012

Although summer is already here if you had always fancied the idea of growing your own fruit or vegetables, the  good news is it is not too late to start and still enjoy the fruits of your labour this year.

Although we are already in the middle of June there are a number of crops you can sow just now and harvest later in the summer in July or August. These include fresh crisp salad leaves and even sweetcorn. In actual fact, you can occasionally find that planting late is beneficial and can avoid some of the problems you can encounter by sowing earlier in the season. One of the benefits of sowing late is that you are likely to avoid a number of troublesome pests such as flea beetles.

So what are the options open to you if you have left things just a wee bit late? For an (almost) immediate return, the first thing you should consider are salad leaves. During the warmer summer months you can sow them in window boxes or direct into the ground and expect to see a decent crop within a few weeks.  Among the choices available are salads, fresh herbs or even greens. The one we would always start with would be spinach.  You can use the fresh young leaves in salads or let them grow a little longer for use as a vegetable. Each batch you sow should yield a crop for two or three months hence.

In general you should be able to continue sowing your greens and leaves out-of-doors until August after which time it might be a good idea to give them some protection by covering them with a cloche or, if you are stretched, some plastic film.

Peas and green beans can also be sown all the way up to the middle of August, though no later if you hope to see a decent return. Sugar snaps are also good and by all means use pea tips in your salads.

Other good tips, as we mentioned, above include corn on the cob as well as spring onions. If you sow corn around now it will be in fine fettle come late summer, while spring onions will produce a decent crop within a month or so of sowing, lasting all the way through until September.

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