Sad but true - the season is officially turning and Autumn is making an ever so subtle entrance into our daily lives. Do not fear though! If you have been caught out by the seasonal change, you still have time to sneak a summer salad onto your plate from scratch within four weeks. Yes I said four weeks! Let’s count down the options for a fantastically fresh and delicious salad in next to no time.

4). There are host of baby leaf salads that can be grown in a month. My favourite of course is baby kale (Red Russian is brilliant for this and so high yielding) but don’t forget quick maturing rocket, baby spinach (super tender at this young age), mizuna and mustards (for a little peppery kick) and remember good old radish to slice up and toss over those lovely baby leaves.

3). One of my favourite crops we have grown on the University campus at Growhampton for the first time this year is leaf radish – a specially bred variety that produces no bulb and leaves that aren’t so hairy. It tastes remarkable in a salad blend and is incredibly quick growing. Baby tat soi is another – both ready in just three weeks, they make prolific cut and come again salad options that just keep on giving week after week.

2). Delicious pea shoots make a stand out addition to any salad – juicy, sweet and slightly nutty in flavour. Soak seeds overnight, pop into some compost and keep moist on a windowsill and you’ll be enjoying your own little mini greens in just two weeks.

1). A powerhouse of nutrition and the speediest salad ingredient around is the superb sprout! A huge range of seeds can be sprouted and ready to eat in just a week. The perfect garnish to our four week salad. Mung bean, lentil and alfalfa are super easy if you’re starting out or try fenugreek for a slightly spicy sprout!

Happy Growing, Joel
Joel Williams is the Grower for the University of Roehampton Students’ Union’s Growhampton project

Top Tip for the week:

Plant some greens in the four week list above, then each week thereafter, work your way down my list. In four weeks time all the ingredients will be ready at the same time to blend into one marvellous 4, 3, 2, 1 salad! Next week I’ll be talking about planting strawberry runners.