Salad Days

Rocket - Arugula

Spring into summer by planting your own salad vegetables to enjoy over the warmer months.

As we prepare to enter that golden summer season in our garden, you may well experience that tinge of disappointment when seeing some plants not flourish to their full potential, and there are always a  cluster of seeds not sown that could now be full of life.

That’s what makes salad plants so appealing – not only is their success rate high, but there may still be  time to get them in the soil as they grow quickly and, of course, are ideal accompaniments to that classic  summer escape – the barbecue!

So as the weather warms up, consider planting these super salad plants to ensure that you have fresh and healthy ingredients on hand this year whenever you need them.


A salad staple, lettuce is also one of the easiest salad plants to grow, and it can be sown directly into the  soil in the spring and summer months. There are many different types of lettuce to choose from, including crisphead, butterhead, and looseleaf.

Lettuce prefers cool weather and partial shade, so make sure to keep it well-watered during hot spells.


Rocket has launched itself into the hearts of UK salad eaters, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Peppery and vibrant, the leaf also known as arugula adds a lot of flavour to any dish and is quick to grow. Just be sure (as with all fresh veg) to give it a good wash before you serve it.



You may think radishes are rad; or you may think they taste very, very bad. Regardless, this crunchy and  peppery root vegetable is easy to grow and can go from seed to serve in as little as four weeks. Offering a  decent dose of vitamin C, these red rebels can add flavour and texture to salads, are strangely superb on  toast, and can be pickled to enjoy later. Just make sure you plant them in well-draining soil.

Spring onions

When it comes to livening up dull dishes, the humble spring onion is a powerhouse of flavour and  versatility.

Spruce up stir-fries, make a delightful dip or even whizz up a delicious summertime soup.

Another good thing about these awesome alliums is that they require very little space or soil, making  them ideal for pots and even windowsills.


Spinach may be known for its super-strength giving properties, but the plant itself is rather sensitive,  requiring six weeks of cool weather from seeding to harvest.

Be sure to keep your plants in the shade, and well-watered during this time.

Once harvested however, you should have an abundance of nutrient-rich leafy greens that can be used in  salads, smoothies, and soups.



Spice up your life with Mizuna, a Japanese salad green that has a slightly fiery and peppery taste. For a  continuous supply of leaves, sow small batches regularly and thin out the seedlings along the row to prevent overcrowding – for example 10-15cm (4-6in) apart for regular pickings of small leaves.


ChardYou’ll be pleased to know that it isn’t particularly hard to grow chard. A stunningly beautiful and vibrant  plant that loves the sun and takes up very little space, its glorious colouring will also complement the late summer blooms in your flowerbeds.