Lettuce – not so soporific after all

Beatrix Potters’ Flopsy Bunnies may have found the lettuce they ate in Mr McGregor’s garden made them sleepy, but there is definitely nothing dull about salad leaves, especially if you grow your own.

Lettuce is easy to grow, says our Chef-Patron and gourmet gardener, John and you can grow it even if you have the smallest of outdoor areas and absolutely no experience of growing your own.

Homegrown salad leaves are satisfying to eat because you’ve grown them yourself, they are also super fresh, and they grow quickly too, so they will soothe even the most impatient among us.

There are lots of varieties to choose from and you can pick your preferred option by colour, texture and taste. There are green, purple and red ones, crispy and buttery varieties and peppery or sweet ones.

Sow lines of seeds every two weeks in channels from now onwards until the end of August (depending on the variety). You can sow into the ground or in containers/pots/growbags. Depending on the variety you have chosen, thin out the seedlings, which means removing some of the small plants to allow space for the ones you wish to keep to grow.

Water well but take care not to overwater if you are using containers/pots/growbags, check the compost with your fingers to get an idea of moisture levels before watering. If the soil is dry, then water.