Salad days …

It’s not too late sow seeds. As well as crops for autumn eating – beetroot, carrots and turnips can still go in – there are plenty of salad leaves which will add interest and variety to late summer meals. Sow rows of mixed oriental salad leaves, cut-and-come-again lettuce, fennel, Swiss chard or spinach.

Pick some of the young leaves as soon as they are big enough to handle, leaving the rest of the plants to grow on.

Then forage for some nasturtium leaves (they give a peppery kick) and a couple of their red and orange flowers.

Add these, together with the spiky petals of a pot marigold flower and blue petals of borage (which taste of cucumber), to the mix of leaves for a salad with enough colour, texture and taste to cheer you while you watch the rain fall.

Potato blight

This perpetual wet weather means that, despite our seed potatoes being resistant to blight, we’re unlikely to escape it completely.
Look out for the tops of your potatoes developing brown patches on their leaves and dying back quickly.  If this happens, cut away all the foliage. Bag the diseased foliage and take it either to the municipal tip where the heat of composting destroys the spores that cause the infection or home to your landfill bin.
The potatoes will be quite safe to eat though, as they’re less likely to keep, it’s a good idea to lift and start using them sooner rather than later.

For more information see earlier newsletters