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Grow winter salads

Lisa Garden on 21-10-2014

Grow winter salads for a supply of fresh, crunchy greens to add the taste of summer to salads and sandwiches right through the coldest winter months.

The secret of keeping your salad supply going right through even the very coldest months of the year is to make the switch from summer to winter salad mixes from October onwards.

You'll find a great selection of spicy winter baby-leaf salad mixes on the seed racks in your local garden centre, as well as 'plug' plants to pop straight into the garden. Summer salads are brought to a standstill by a hard frost - but super-hardy winter mixes just soldier on. They include much more resilient cold-weather lovers like mizuna, mibuna and the red mustards, which hunker down through the worst of the winter weather and keep growing slowly in milder spells.

They're happiest in the borders of a cool greenhouse, but you can also grow them outside - just cover with a cloche or cold frame in bad weather. Winter salad leaves tend to be a little more peppery in flavour, so balance them with an equally hardy but milder winter lettuce such as 'Winter Gem', which you'll also find on our shelves to plant right away.