The EPA’s Stop Food Waste programme has joined forces with Grow it Yourself inviting you to grow your own greens this St Patrick’s Day.
“Bags of salad leaves are expensive to buy in supermarkets and because they're washed and ready to eat, they have a short lifespan in the fridge,” says Odile Le Bolloch, spokesperson for Stop Food Waste at the EPA. “By growing your own, you can pick as much of it as you need for each meal. Most varieties of lettuce are easy to grow and can be sown any time between spring and summer. Apart from traditional lettuces, such as cos, iceberg, and butterhead, there are many others to try, including loose-leaf types and oak leaf lettuce, radicchio, rocket, and endive. That way you can enjoy salads with a mix of colours and textures.”
GIY advises you do not need that much space to grow a few heads of lettuce, rocket, or herbs, even a window box would do where space is limited. You can start the window box indoors and once the first few shoots start coming up you can put it outside on a sunny sill, making sure you keep them watered. GIY suggests: “If you sow a few seeds every few weeks between now and August, you'll have a continuous supply right through until autumn.”
To avoid wasting lettuce, Stop Food Waste adds: “Don’t harvest the lettuce until you are ready to use it and don’t pull the whole lettuce out in one go – just cut the leaves you want to eat and more will grow back.”