This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 3 June 2013

Head Start with Salads

Most years I haven't had much success growing lettuce from seed (not sure why) so this year I saw an offer in the Kitchen Garden magazine that offered 35 salad plants for £4.99 (which I thought was a great offer) so I put an order in. 

Pictured left is lettuce 'little gem' I unwrapped and have planted out. For some reason I've never been able to germinate 'little gem' from seed. I was quite happy with the plants sent to me and they're bigger than I thought they'd be.
The package arrives - plants neatly wrapped and still moist on arrival. A few little black flies arrived in the box as well (which I thought was a little funny).
Above and below: other plants as they were unwrapped and planted.
The veg bed planted up - the plants look a little limp but I imagine once they're established they'll be fine. The 35 plants for £4.99 were:
10 x Beetroot Solist
5 x Lettuce Bijou
5 x Lettuce Little Gem Pearl
5 x Lettuce Verpia
10 x Spring Onion White Lisbon

Here's hoping I can keep the slugs and snails away!

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. You bought a nice assortment of veggies, so this will be soon a salad for every day. Hope you can manage the slugs and snails. When I came back from holiday it took me hours to collect all the little slugs around my sown Delphiniums. Wonderfully they did not touch my lettuces in pots.

  2. Nice lettuce seedlings and I agree with you it was a good offer... I have problem with my lettuce seeds too...maybe you have the same thing, look around your garden if you can spot tiny black grasshoppers they just love lettuce seeds. I sowed 10 rows this year and nothing, they ate almost everything :/

  3. Your lettuce plants look nice and healthy and you got a good assortment. I'd say you will be harvesting soon and enjoying a nice fresh salad!!

  4. Those Little Gem lettuces look really sturdy. Hopefully they recovered from the transplant shock after a while. In my own (very unscientific) garden experiment, I have found that slugs and snails tend to leave red lettuce alone in favour of green. I'm currently enjoying a glut of red salad leaves as a result!

  5. Good luck with the great selection of seedlings, if they all thrive you will have a lot of different salad greens to choose from. Isn't it exciting getting things in the mail like that? Gives you something to look forward to at the end of the working day!

  6. I tend not to grow many lettuces or salad leaves as we're not huge salad eaters, but I bought four green and four red lollo rosso plants very cheaply from a local nursery and they're thriving. I do like Little Gem lettuces, they're just a nice size, and the cut and come again varieties which means they last a while when you're not such big salad eaters like us.

  7. A lovely selection of salad plants which I'm sure will soon give you lots of delicious salads over the Summer. I usually plant a few near the kitchen door in a wooden box, including rocket so that I can 'cut and come again'.

  8. Looks great--good luck! Jeannine

  9. They seem to have good root systems.The purply ones look particularly nice.
    For the last few years my lettuce seeds have germinated well and it's been more a case of thinning out.
    This year I'm trying to take a decent sized plug of the surrounding soil with the plantlets when I transplant them around the rest of the plot amongst the beans etc.
    I eat salad nearly every day and baulk at having to buy a lettuce between November and mid May when I struggle to grow my own leaves.
    It seems strange that not everyone is a salad or chard fan!

  10. I have been planting veggie seeds in our garden but I didn't put in any lettuce yet. Hope you have success with yours.

    Thank you for visiting me,


  11. They look like a really good purchase, Kelli, and they've filled your salad bed out nicely. I cut my first set of salad leaves for lunch last week. There really is nothing like the taste of homegrown is there.

  12. They look great, you got a bargain there! Hope the grow well for you.

  13. Hi Kelli, Lovely package to receive in the post! I never sow lettuce seed in the garden I sow into trays at home and plant out when they are ready, as one sowing is planted out I sow another lot to have a succession of salads. I only sow about 10 seeds at a time otherwise they go to seed.

  14. Little Gem are my favourite lettuce, crispy and nutty flavoured but I do seem to have trouble with them germinating - your purchase was certainly good value - hope you manage to keep them slug free.