How to: Sow salad leaves

Grow your own salad leaves and save pounds off the price of shop-bought bags. By harvesting straight from plot to plate, you’ll also experience ultimate freshness and delicious flavour – the leaves will be far better than anything you can buy. Salad is one of the easiest crops to grow, so perfect if you’re new to gardening or want a project to try with children. Many leaves are also ready to pick within days of sowing, which means you’ll get quick returns for little effort. There are many different types to try, including mixes of spicy, oriental greens, mini lettuces like ‘Little Gem’, and herbs like rocket. Grow a mixture so it’s possible to create a harvest full of colour and texture. Two or three packs of salad seed should last you all summer. 

What you'll need:

  • Stones or broken china
  • Plant pot
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Watering can
  • Salad seed
  • Plant label

Step 1
Add a layer of stones of broken china to the bottom of a large pot. It’s fine to use plastic or terracotta containers.

Step 2
Fill the pot with multi-purpose compost, pushing it down as you go. Pat the compost firm with your hands to create a flat sowing surface.

Step 3
Water the compost well, taking care not to spill it over the side. Water several times, allowing the water to soak through each time.

Step 4
Scatter salad seed over the surface of the compost making sure it’s evenly spread.

Step 5
Cover the seed with a sprinkling of dry compost and label the pot with the salad variety and sowing date. Wait for your leaves to appear!

Step 6
When large enough, pick the leaves from the outside of the plants. This will keep the supply coming. Water regularly to keep the plants healthy.