Winter Salads

While things are starting to get a bit cold and wet outside (oh no wait, that was summer), it’s good to have nice and spicy winter salads to look forward to. Planting through black Mypex as usual, this helps keep down weeds, and will also hopefully add a tiny bit more heat to the soil too (well it seemed to be ok last year). So last week I planted the first lot of rainbow chard in the tunnel, along with radicchio, lambs lettuce, red and green frilly mustards, green wave mustard, giant red mustard (which can blow your socks off at 20 paces), and pak choi.

Tiny shiny Claytonia (winter purslane) seeds

The Oriental leaves really brighten up winter days; with that spicy hit of mustard giving some heat to a chilly salad; and are delicious with pretty much everything (even a plain old bacon butty). I plan to have six batches this year, each tunnel divided in half, on constant cropping rotation, so I don’t run out: the first half of the new tunnel is done, and hopefully the next half of Marmalade tunnel (we burried an ancient marmelade jar in the foundations when building) will go in next week, with mibuna, mizuna, claytonia, endive and bulls blood beetroot.

 

Mown green manure (Persian clover) in tunnel, to give the coming hungry salads a nitrogen boost

This part of the tunnel is currently in green manure (Persian clover), which I mowed down last week, and hopt to rotovate in next week once I get my Howard rotavator back from its overhaul. Hopefully I’ve got my timing right, so the 4th and 5th lot will go in when the tomatoes and peppers have done their thing; and the last lot will go where the baby carrots and beetroot are just starting to produce. No space to waste here!

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