Palla Rossa has lovely firm hearts and with red/maroon and white leaves give excellent colour and crunchiness in Autumn. This is a very popular ingredient in supermarket salad pack, but much nicer when you grow it yourself! Awarded an AGM by the RHS try it for yourself. Price for 40 seeds
SOW: from mid-spring to late summer in modules or pots – germination is more erratic when sown in situ
GROW: space 20-35cm apart. They like moisture retentive soil and will tolerate light shade. Keep weeded and water in dry weather. Crops from later sowings will need cloches in the autumn. Once the hearts form cut a little above ground level – the stumps should resprout further edible leaves over many weeks, pick these leaves as a cut and come again crop.
EAT: shred for your salad mix or braise small whole heads in butter