Lettuces are among the easiest vegetables to grow. You can sow them in pots, tubs or in the ground when the weather warms up. I sow a few mixed lettuce seeds every month to ensure I have a succession of leaves all summer long.
Sow a few seeds thinly in a pot or directly in the ground and cover them lightly with compost or soil. After a few weeks they should sprout. As your seedlings grow, pick and eat the leaves when young. Graze little and often to keep plants producing. Make sure the soil or pot does not dry out.
It’s worth pinching the tops of young bedding plants – fuchsias, pelargoniums and cosmos are some of the favorites that respond well to this.
What we are looking for are young plants that are well branched and bushy – if we don’t remove the tips of the plants they tend to get ‘legged’ and too tall for this time of year. Take a pair of scissors and remove the tip of the shoot and about two or three leaves.
Although this seems harsh, all the lower buds of the plant will then respond by bursting into new shoots. This leads to more leaves and then many more flowers for the summer. Remember to keep your bedding plants protected from frost until the risk of frost disappears (early June).
Growing Ginger in a Pot
Our tastes and the type of food we grow change with food trends. This year, why not try homemade ginger? It’s so easy to get a piece of ginger root in the fresh produce section of a supermarket. Take a small pot and fill it with peat-free compost.
Cut your piece of ginger to fit in the pot (ideally 5-10cm) and bury the root halfway into the ground. Water well and place the pot on a sunny windowsill. In a few weeks, when you do emerge a green sprout, keep it well watered. Ginger likes a warm, sunny location and by mid-June the plant can live outdoors. As the root grows, place it in a larger pot and you’ll have your own fresh ginger in the fall.
This article is updated with the latest information.