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

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Summer Salads

I've been eating salad for lunch and dinner all week due to unexpected success at lettuce growing this year. I suppose with the hot weather we're having this July the slugs aren't munching as much as they normally do. Plus I go slug catching almost every night to protect my plants.

Left: Salad prepared with various lettuces including beetroot leaves, grated beetroot, spring onion, calendula petals and decorated with a nasturtium flower.
This raised veg box is mostly plants for summer salads (or stir fries).
Pictured L-R (front): Spring Onion ‘White Lisbon’, Lettuce ‘Bijou’, Chard 'White Silver'.
L-R (back): 
Lettuce ‘Little Gem Pearl’, Lettuce ‘Verpia’, Beetroot  ‘Solist’. The plants in this bed came from a mail order I placed as I hadn't had much success growing salads from seed in previous years.
Some slug damage on the Little Gem lettuce (pictured left) but most of the salad seems pest free.
The Beetroot  ‘Solist’ has grown successfully, however, it hasn't much flavour. It's golf ball to tennis ball size. I use some of the baby leaves from the plant in salad and the bigger leaves in stir fry.
Grown from seed, this beautiful looking salad grew successfully. I labeled it as Lettuce E I N K and now I've no idea what the E I N K stands for as I misplaced the seed pack.
Above and below: Grown from seed, flowers for decorating and eating in salads: Calendula 'Orange King' and Nasturtium 'Tuti Fruitti Mixed'.
Above: all from the garden.
Below: a bit of chicken, croutons and dressing make a tasty dinner!

Bon Appetit!

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


  1. Looks great, we had salad last night, I'm still waiting for my beetroot to grow big enough though.

  2. Looks scrumptious! I love how colorful your salads are and that you use so many parts of the plants.

  3. Fantastic! Homegrown salad is so perfectly tasty...

  4. It's been the perfect weather for salads hasn't it. I'm glad your lettuce are doing so well this year. I'm amazed at the lack of slugs this year, although the rain over the last 2 days will see the population increase massively over the next day or 2!!

  5. All your lettuces and salad fixings look so pretty, colorful and flavorful. So do you also cook the beets? The root, that is. I like them sliced,cooked just til done, not mushy and then put in a pickling liquid in fridge, eaten cold.Makes them quite tasty, ,and good that way put into salads or as a side dish. Beets are said to prevent gallstones, I've heard. Your chicken salad looks yummy.

  6. Lovely colourful leaves, I always admire flower petals when I see them in salads but always forget to include them!I am picking beetroot just golf ball size ,roasting in the oven then peeling and putting them in jars and just covering with red wine vinegar.They are for using almost immediately in salads. Interesting to read the comment about them preventing gallstones!

  7. Like the look of that E I N K salad leaf or lettuce. Don't suppose a google search would be any good.

  8. Lovely variety of salads you grow and very delicious food for these hot days. Your Nasturtium has such a beautiful colour. Tutti frutti mixed I have to remember.

  9. Looks really great. I would empty the plate even if there weren't any chicken and croutons :D

  10. The loveliest salads I've ever seen with those flowers on them! It gets too warm for lettuce as the summer wears on, and I miss having it out there.