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ISBN-10: 1465429972

ISBN-13: 9781465429971

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35 Growing Your Own GROWING YOUR OWN LETTUCE, CHICORY & ENDIVE Easy to grow and quick to mature, salad greens can be squeezed into the smallest of plots or grown in a pot. You can choose from loose-leaf lettuces, which can be grown as cut-and-come-again leaves (see Tip 49), or those that form a tight head of crisp leaves. Sugarloaf chicory is just as easy to grow and forms tall, pale heads of bitter leaves. Endive comes in two types, both with slightly bitter leaves: escaroles have large foliage and are used as winter vegetables, while the curly frisée types are harvested in summer.

Leeks require a sunny position and moist, freedraining soil—incorporate well-rotted manure or compost a few weeks before planting. Sow seeds in spring in trays, and when seedlings are 8 in (20 cm) tall, plant them in their final positions. Use a dibber to make holes 6 in (15 cm) deep and 6 in (15 cm) apart. PLANT IN HOLES Drop one leek seedling into each deep planting hole. Do not backfill with soil; just add water. LEEK CARE The soil will eventually fill the planting holes as the leeks grow. Water during dry spells, but avoid wetting the leaves.

Crops can be harvested about 12 weeks after sowing. RIDGE CUCUMBERS Outdoor varieties are called ridge cucumbers. Short and rough skinned, they produce male and female flowers, which need to be pollinated, although when grown outside this is rarely a problem. You can stake plants or allow them to run along the ground. 50 Growing Your Own EGGPLANT The long, hot summers required to ripen eggplants mean that, in all but the mildest areas, they are best grown in a greenhouse or under cloches in a sunny, sheltered spot outside when all risk of frost has passed.

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