Packet Content (approx.): 1200 (2.15g)
Family: Eruca vesicaria ssp. sativa
Quick growing yet refined, with good vigour and uniformity. Makes the classic indent leaf early in the growing cycle, with good texture and colour and a pleasant rocket flavour.
Babyleaf is a convenient way of describing the optimum growth stage of many different leafy vegetables when cut to provide an individual leaf for salads. This is normally within the range 8-14cm in size. The popularity of bagged salads in recent years has risen sharply due the excellent quality of the components, and over 90% of households in the UK regularly buy their salads in this form.
Viridis Hortus screen many varieties for their suitability for the babyleaf market, examining leaf size and shape, speed of growth, size of cut area (normally stem thickness) ease of harvest, flavour, colour and general appearance, and of course shelf life after harvest.
Do ask us if you want more information about any of our babyleaf products and their suitability for your needs.
In autumn and winter seed can be sown into pots or seed trays which can be grown on the kitchen windowsill or in a heated conservatory/greenhouse.
Sow 20-30 seeds into a 10-12cm pot using a free draining compost and cover seed lightly after sowing.
For spring and summer crops, sow direct into prepared seed beds in the kitchen garden or greenhouse border, and this is the best growing technique for spring and summer crops.
Sow outdoors sprinkle seeds 1/2 inch apart in a 2 to 4 inch wide row covering lightly or broadcast sow.
Tip a small amount of seed into your hand, take a pinch and spread thinly along the trench. Cover with soil, label and water.
If birds are a problem in your garden, spread netting to prevent them eating the seed.
Sow every two weeks for a continual supply of tender young leaf.
The best tasting leaves come from plants which are grown quickly; this means a temperature of 15-19°C (60-70°F).
Under optimum growing conditions a crop of salad leaves can be ready for picking 3-4 weeks from sowing. Slower growing crops can become more fibrous and hotter flavoured.
Once cut the plants should have sufficient energy for re-growth to provide a second or even third crop of leaves, giving a regular supply with "little and often" sowings.
Be prepared to water well and supplement feed with high-potash feed during season. Regular feeding is recommended.