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, 4 November 2013

Late Salad Trials

This year I'm trying to keep a supply of salad leaves going through early Winter. I've sown a few different varieties. However, one salad veg has caused me confusion over the months - Radicchio 'Palla Rossa'. The seed pack photo (see seed pack below) looks more like a cabbage. 

Left: my Radicchio, 5 months into growth, looks more like a lettuce; pretty but it tastes very bitter and inedible. (I kept waiting for it to look like the photo below before harvesting.)
Above: The seed pack description of Radicchio 'Palla Rossa'. I sowed seed again in late July and they too look to be developing the same way as my top photo. Every year I try to grow some new veg, some a success and some not a success. I suppose I would have to say my Radicchio looked pretty, but was disappointing.
Above and Below: On a more positive note, in early August I sowed seeds called 'Winter Blend' and they seem to be a mix of mizuna, mustard, kale and rocket to make up salads. They're doing well and hoping they'll keep me going a bit longer in salads.

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


  1. This is something we ought to have a go at but for one reason or another we never get round to it!

  2. Kelli, the picture of the Radicchio shown on the packet is of the heart only, with the outer leaves removed for cosmetic effect! It looks as if your Radicchio has not formed a heart, but if you have not yet harvested it, don't give up - leave it until the weather goes really cold and it may still come good. The taste is deliberately bitter - all chicories are bitter to some extent, though this can be reduced by blanching. (More info on my blog, via the Search facility....)

  3. The lettuce is very pretty. Sometimes lettuce varieties can be bitter. Dad used to grow greens that were bitter. I do enjoy garden grown spinach. You will have great salads lasting long into the winter.

  4. Radicchio look so stunning, I have never planted before. I hope I can plant next year