Growing Salad Herbs

Growing Salad Herbs

Protek @ Garden World

Growing Salad Herbs

Still buying tired looking, wilted salad herbs from the grocery store?  And do you believe that iceberg lettuce is the only greens you can grow yourself?  Think again …. you can create a fresh, appetising salad bursting with flavour and colour by growing a wide range of salad greens and salad herbs in the back of your garden or in pots from seeds or from seedlings from your favorite nursery.

Give your salads extra spice and freshness this summer by planting your own rocket, bok choi, watercress, chives, dill and lemon balm to name just a few.

Most salad herbs are easy to grow provided you meet their basic needs:

Choosing the site:  Salad herbs like to grow in a sheltered, sunny spot with well drained soil.  You can grow them in containers, in a veggie garden or in your flower beds – it’s up to you.

Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil about 60cm deep with a large garden fork.  This will allow water to drain and create space for the plant roots to reach down deep into the soil.  Add a thick (±5cm) layer of compost on top of the soil and then mix it in thoroughly, this will help to prevent drainage problems and with the absorption of nutrients from the soil.  Add Garden Phosphate or NutriGreen Gwano Pellets (60g per m²) to your soil. This will help the roots to establish much easier.

The finalstep is to plant healthy, strong seedlings and water them regularly.  Most herbs need to be watered as soon as the soil below the surface is dry to the touch.  Do not over-water.  More water is not better and can lead to diseases or just poor growing conditions for your herbs, which will result in reduced growth.

Feeding your salad herbs:  Feed plants regularly (every fortnight) with Guanoflo, a 100% organic fertilizer.  Guanoflo not only consists of macro elements, Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potassium (N:P:K), but also the essential micro elements for vigorous growth.  Leave salad herbs require high Nitrogen supplement to prevent it from becoming bitter.

Pests and Diseases: 

Generally salad herbs are more resistant to pest and diseases than vegetables and other plants. Check plants when watering or weeding and react as soon as a problem is spotted.

Aphids can infest crops and suck sap, weakening the plant and spreading virus diseases. They can be controlled with an insecticide such as Knox Worm, Kemprin or AviGard.  They have a short waiting period between application and harvest with little negative impact on the environment. 

Knox worm

Slugs and snails destroy seedlings and fresh new growth year round. To control them, distribute ready to use, easy to apply Snail Stop or Scatterkill for Snails. Scatterkill for Snails is made from a unique bran bait that is very palatable for snails. It also features a unique pet repellent.

Cutworms are soil dwelling caterpillars that feed on the roots and stem bases of many crops, causing sudden wilt and death. Destroy cutworms by sprinkling Cutworm Bait around your seedlings and plants after dark when these worms are active in the garden.

Leaf spot may occur on older leaves and cause round, brown spots and the affected tissue may disintegrate to leave bare holes. The disease worsens when crops are overcrowded, so thin out and do not replant the same crop in the same place the following year. This can be treated with a systemic fungicide for example Tenazole.


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