Baby Salad Leaves
For other salad leaves, cutback the foliage and trim the roots, so that they can be potted up individually in 2litre pots. As with the beetroot, water and leave them somewhere bright, but frost free (a cold greenhouse is ideal).
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Chicory is a winter vegetable crop, delicious and unusual. They taste lovely raw in a salad and fantastic braised or in a risotto or sauce for pasta.
- After a couple of frost periods, dig out the chicory.
- Trim the tops off leaving about an inch of leaves only at the root.
- Scrape the fine fibrous side roots away from the main tap root. (stops them regrowing to quickly)
- Wash them off under a tap to remove any soil and again to prevent quick regrowth.
- Then store the roots vertically in a gravel trap outside. (Box filled with gravel or course sand- well drained, slug free fridge).
- Every 2 weeks bring a few roots in for forcing.
- Do this by planting them in a deep container of compost in the warm.
- Once cover, check after about a week and they should have began shooting. Within 2 weeks they are ready for eating.
Rhubarb for the New Year
- Wait until the rhubarb has died back. Then divide one large crown in half and lift it.
- Leave it outside until the crown has had a couple of good frosts on it.
- Bring the crown inside and plant in an old compost bag and put somewhere warm such as a laundry room or a greenhouse. Keep around 61F.
- Water and place an upturned container or in over the top to exclude any incoming light.
- Check after about a week and your rhubarb should be starting to sprout.
- As soon as the stems are big enough to harvest (in about 4 weeks), pull what you want- never cut rhubarb or the cut stalk may rot and then rot back into the crown. Replace its hat until the crown has stopped producing.