Eating volunteers

Hi everyone, slugs are munching on my lettuce but here are some volunteers that are happy to feed me: wild garlic, French sorrel & purple orach. Any good recipes for how to best use them? I have loads! Happy growing to you all from Ljubljana, Darja

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Sounds par for the course:-) I dread putting out my lettuce plugs…

Sorrel is nice with a leaf or two finely sliced into a fresh salad (lemony taste), but is also wonderful as a soup - I found some delicious recipes online a few years ago when I first grew it, popular in ‘eastern european’ countries but also I’m sure in France. I grow two kinds of sorrel i the allotment, and the French one in the raised beds in my back garden - easy, prolific, tasty…

Wild garlic - likewise, I slice it very finely in salads, and into soups (even chicken soup), into anything which feels nice with garlic - pasta sauces of any sort, fresh steamed fine green beans, potato salads, etc. The flowers are particularly flavoursome, sometimes I just pull them off and eat them whole and fresh on their own:-)


Never grew orach successfully, nor ate it so no suggestions there. But it looks very beautiful…

Given that lettuce is so tasty to slugs, is it time to forget about planting lettuce and just eat the salad stuff which seems the slugs don’t like? I have some red veined sorrel and green chard which are doing well, as are wild garlic (in pots) and other alliums. Add in a few tasty herbs like anise hyssop and lemon balm and I am well happy. Coming along is buckler leaf sorrel and a Caucasian sorrel, the latter only recognised by the label in the pot. I have no idea when I obtained that. We can blanch dandelions and eat other ‘weeds’ and probably obtain more nutrition in doing so. Forget lettuce!!

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We have a real problem with slugs in Alaska. I have found that a product called Sluggo really helps. It was recommended by the Department of Agriculture and is organic.
Before that i used copper strips around my raised beds, but the Sluggo works better.

Very late and not salad but…

The combination of french sorrel and wild garlic, when added in small amounts to chard and wilted in butter, makes one of the very best spring vegetable dishes I know.

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I think that is good advice and often a good way forward - if you can live without lettuce. I do like the occasional lettuce but do find other things grow a lot better with less pest problems in containers. This year, we’ve eaten mainly rocket, nasturtiums, orach, sorrel and pea shoots, along with lots of herbs - oregano, mint, chives etc.

Next year I think I will grow a few lettuces, but make it quick and easy by planting out those living supermarket ones rather than starting them from seed!