Salad Days: Salads for Damp Places
|Some fetching lettuce 'Freckles' seen at the rather special Easton Walled Gardens earlier this week|
It's been so wet over the past few weeks, and once again most of my leaves have been eaten down to their stumps by the hordes of voracious slugs and snails which have invaded my salad area. I know I'm not alone - I've seen too many moans on Twitter about the problem!
So I'm about to try a different tack with my salad production and turning my attention to those leaves which don't mind wet feet. It probably means we'll get a heatwave now, but hey, that's a win-win situation, right?
- Watercress - you don't need loads of water as commercially available seed can be grown successfully in damp soils. I grow mine in a big pot and make sure the drip tray is kept well topped up. Other #saladchatterers have grown cuttings taken from bagged supermarket watercress in various buckets and bowls. Reported success is variable, but I think it's worth a try until my sown seed starts to produce...
- Other members of the watercress family, such as land cress are also worth a try and can be grown in the usual way
- Sorrel - recommended by Cally at Country Gate Gardens
- Mint - likes to be kept moist. I'd only use a few leaves as a 'garnish' in my salad owing to its strong, distinctive flavour. Does anyone have a good recipe for salad which includes mint for us to try?
- So far our salad grown this way looks like it's going to have lots of sharp, strong, or peppery flavours. Can you add to the list?
Chatting to Carl Legge this week confirmed that foraging in damp places (assuming you have somewhere suitable) might be a better prospect than trying to grow your own and keeping things damp. He offers up a new (to me anyway) edible plant: golden saxifrage - the opposite leaved version, or this one, which has alternate leaves. Both inhabit the same kind of damp places.
Others to find:
- Dandelions - not really a plant specifically from damp places, but it still seems to be thriving everywhere despite the rain. I could start a new campaign called Eat Your Lawn with mine ;)
- Samphire - as well as a salad ingredient it's also delicious cooked like asparagus and dripping with butter :)
- Comfrey doesn't mind it damp and can be substituted for spinach as well as making your comfrey tea!
- Water mint - as a substitute for the garden mint noted above
- Wintercress - a wild substitute for cultivated land cress
- Ribwort plantain - young leaves only, so it's really only a candidate for spring foraging. It tolerates damp rather than liking absolutely waterlogged conditions and is another candidate for Eat Your Lawn
- Can you add to the list?
Now it's your turn. How's your salad progressing this month? Write a post on your blog and leave a link in Mr Linky below (NB to the post itself, not to just your blog name, so we can find it easily)