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There’s more to lettuce than summer salads, says Rob Smith, as he takes a look at options for harvesting this crop from late summer into early spring

One of the most rewarding veg plants to grow has to be the lettuce. What other crop can be sown and grown almost all year round, comes in a variety of shapes and colours, and can be eaten raw or cooked?

When I’m talking about lettuce I don’t just mean the traditional ‘Iceberg’ which can be found smothered in plastic in every shop in the land; I mean all the different varieties from romaine and cos, to butterhead and loose leaf ‘picking’ lettuce.

As we get into August you may think that the time for sowing salad leaves and lettuce has passed, yet you couldn’t be further from the truth! he majority of summer lettuce will already have been sown, grown and eaten; yet there are a number of autumn and winter cropping varieties that will grow happily all throughout the colder months with a little protection from the hungry birds and the worst of the weather. In fact, all you need is a small plastic cloche tunnel to grow lettuce throughout winter, but if you have a greenhouse or walk-in tunnel, the world’s your oyster (or lettuce so to speak)!

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine! In this issue: TRIED AND TASTED – PEA ‘SWEET SAHARA’ KG editor Steve Ott brings you his verdict on this recently introduced mangetout THE BEANS OF YOUR DREAMS Sue Stickland travels to Warminster to meet a grower with a passion for heritage beans VEG OF THE MONTH – ORIENTAL CROPS ✪ Our top tips for success with oriental crops – mainstay of the autumn veg garden And much more!