Grow salad leaves in full sun and well-drained conditions. They're ideal in containers and growing bags, but also grow well in a veg plot or even just a handy gap at the front of a border. The majority of fast-growing greens like leaf lettuce, arugula, mizuna, mustard, Tokyo Bekana, and baby spinach are shallow-rooted and don't need a deep layer of soil to produce a crop. To harvest high-quality salad greens almost every month of the year, you need to maintain a ready supply of young transplants. The only way to do it is to sow a pinch or two of seeds every week, either indoors or out. Start seeds indoors when it's either too cold or too hot outdoors.
Some of the fastest growing lettuce varieties include: Flashy Trout Back, Buttercrunch, Jericho, Green Saladbowl, Red Sails, Clearwater, Deer Tongue, Waldmann's Dark Green, Tambay, Alboreto, Powerhouse, and Little Gem. All of these lettuce varieties will be ready for harvest in less than 6 weeks from planting.
Lettuce regrows once its leaves have been cut or picked off the main stem. As long as the root is intact in the ground and there are at least 1-2 inches of stem and leaves at the base, lettuce will shoot new growth in as little as a week. The cut-and-come-again harvesting method is the most popular.
But removing the air is exactly the opposite of what lettuce needs. Lettuce actually needs a good amount of airflow, in addition to a bit of moisture, in order to stay crisp. That's why restaurants store their lettuce in special perforated bins that allow for air circulation while it's held in the fridge
Any of a wide variety of dishes that fall into the following principal categories: green salads; vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads.
There are some vegetables, which are consumed uncooked state and are called salad crops. Salad crops are now more popular because of their food value in the diet. The Carrot, Tomato, Spinach, Onion, Cabbage and are also used in preparation of salad. Besides these the important salad crops used are lettuce, celery, endive, chicory, parsley, and chervil, leek and cress.
Lettuce (Lactuca sativa)
Lettuce is the most important salad crops. It is a native of Europe and Asia and introduced in India by the Britishers. Lettuce is an annual and belongs to family composite. The leaves and heads are used as salad. There are about 150 varieties, of which only about 20 are important.
There are four distinct types of lettuce.
The head lettuce is divided into two classes – crisp head and butter head. Both Butter head and crisp types have cabbage – heading varieties and Bunching varieties while the COS type have Spatulate – leaved varieties; Lanccolate – leaved varieties and Lobed – leaved varieties.
Celery (Apium graveolens)
It is a biennial plant but grown as an annual crop. It belongs to the family Umbellifereae. The flowers are small, white and in compound umbels. It grows to a height of 60 to 90 cm. It contains high amounts of protein and minerals.
Parsley (Petroselinum hortense)
Parsley is a herb whose leaves are used in salads and also for garnishing and flavouring. It is a biennial of the Umbellifereae family. It contains iron, vitamin A and C. Parsley seeds germinate slowly and therefore it should be sown in boxes or in very well prepared nursery beds.
Endive (Cichorium endivia)
Endive is not much grown except in home gardens. It is sometimes used to replace lettuce. It belongs to compositae family. Endive has a bitter taste. To reduce this the centres are blanched. Blanching is done by close planting or by tying the outer leaves at the top. Method of sowing, transplanting seedlings and distance of planting and cultural methods are similar to those used for lettuce.
Cress (Lepidium sativum)
Garden cress is an annual of the cruciferae family. It is cultivated in India. The young leaves are used in salads. It needs cool weather and rich soil. Sowings may be done once a week in Boxes or in nursery beds during winter. The leaves are ready for use in 6 to 8 weeks from sowing.