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Plough to plate

The leaf industry can be divided into 3 categories - wholehead, baby leaf and speciality leaf. Wholehead, as the name implies, refers to plants such as lettuces, where a ‘whole head’ of produce is grown. Baby leaf refers to those plants which grow as individual leaves such as rocket or spinach. Speciality leaf refers to more exotic leaves such as Batavia.

The UK climate is particularly suitable for production, as leafy salads grow best in an even temperature. If the climate is too hot, many wholehead varieties such as Iceberg lettuce, will go to seed. This is why you will find many producers near the coast around the UK as the coastal breeze keeps the temperature down.

Leafy salads are suited to temperatures ranging from 12ºC to 18ºC and are best when grown quickly and pampered with good soil and adequate moisture.

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