GARDENING: You can still enjoy salad days in winter

A salad box with Californian Mix.
A salad box with Californian Mix.
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I usually try to grow some kind of green salad crop under glass over winter, even if it's just enough to add to a sandwich.

There are plenty of cut­-and­-come-­again winter salad mixes out there, but what I find works best are pea shoots.

Pea shoots Twinkle are a good fast-growing crop to grow in winter.

Pea shoots Twinkle are a good fast-growing crop to grow in winter.

Twinkle is a good variety to go for, with pea-­flavoured (obviously) shoots in three weeks in seed trays. They go very well in a pasta dish with smoked salmon.

Rocket is also happy to germinate at low temperatures and quite depleted soil. I've used old tomato growbags to get a second crop from one lot of soil.

Of course, the deeper into winter you are, the slower things grow, especially in the terrible light intensity we've had for what seems like forever.

I've had a tray of Californian Mix cut­-and­-come-­again salad shoots on the go in a wooden crate since October, which I brought inside as the weather deteriorated.

Unfortunately, they've gone really leggy with lack of light, so be warned.

I'm also trying sweet corn shoots Bodacious from Suttons this winter, as they're not affected by lack of light.

You grow them in a warm, dark place like a cupboard and harvest the bright yellow shoots just as the leaves are about to emerge ­about 6-­10 days.

Eat straight away to experience their distinct corn flavour, which is intensely sweet and slightly sour at the same time.

About 200 seeds cost £2.99, available from