Apart from their tasty and refreshing qualities salads play a big part in maintaining general health. Eaten raw, nothing of the nutriment is lost, as it is in the case of cooked vegetables. Very little space is taken up by salad plants in the garden or allotment, and the cost of growing them is negligible.
A continuous supply over a long period is easily achieved by making very small sowings at intervals of ten days or a fortnight – leaving out of account those which take months to mature, as tomato and cucumber; and onion and beet, whose thinnings, spread out over a period, are available without sowings additional to the main crop.
Other points to observe are the encouragement of speedy growth by attention to watering. Salad plants which are allowed to become dry at any time suffer a check which may result in premature running up to seed. Given uniformly moist conditions no trouble need be anticipated. ‘Take them young’ is a golden rule. Salad plants left to grow old become tough and lose those other qualities for which they are specially grown.
Early and late sowings of such things as lettuce, radish, mustard and cress should be in full sun in a position sheltered from cold winds; in a lightly shaded position during summer, especially if the soil is light and quick to dry out. Thinning out must never be delayed, and if seedlings are to be transplanted they should be moved from moist soil to moist soil, the watering can taking the place of rain, if necessary.