Grow a Salad Garden

Grow a Salad Garden

Grow a nutritious salad garden for fresh ingredients every day

Fresh salad garden bowl
Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

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I love buying fresh produce and I always have high hopes for what I will turn that ingredient into. But sometimes my lovely produce ends up in the garbage and that is a travesty. It hurts my heart to waste good food like that. When you grow your salad in your garden, it’s always fresh and never goes to waste in the fridge.

This is so easy to do and beneficial for many reasons. When you grow your salad in your garden, you know where it came from. You can trust that it’s organic. Everything you give to that plant, it will give you back in nutrition and taste. There’s no fresh, like straight out of the garden fresh.

Another benefit is teaching children where food comes from by getting them involved. This is a perfect project to involve children in.

This is also a project for a novice gardener if you want a more in-depth article on starting a garden from scratch, head over HERE for my other gardening articles.

Choosing a container

This post is addressing container gardening, but if you have space, you could also use these same principles and plant directly into the ground.

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There are a few things to consider when choosing your container. The size of your container will be related to the amount of plants you want and how many people this garden needs to feed.

If you are feeding one an 18 inch round container should be adequate to give you an idea. The bigger your container, the more food you will be able to grow. Go as big as you can if you would like to grow a variety of plants for your salad garden.

The shape of the container should be suitable for the area that you will be placing it, keep that in mind. I have used window boxes that are long, narrow, and rectangular. You could use a round container or a long trough-like box with a trellis behind it (if you have climbing plants).

You could also do this in multiple hanging planters if floor space is an issue. The vertical salad garden could also be a fun and unique decor focal point on a patio.

I have just become an affiliate for Bootstrap Farmer and they have amazing solutions for container gardening. Garden bags! They also sell lights, hydroponics, seed trays, and other gardening accessories. Check out Bootstrap Farmer and create your garden anywhere in any climate, even indoors.

Seedlings vs. Seeds

I recommend you go where your budget leads you on this one. Seeds are very inexpensive and you can get a lot of bang for your buck here. Seedlings are 500% more expensive but are proven growers and already sturdy and established.

Kitchen garden in containers
Kitchen Garden

I’m currently using both methods in my herb gardens. In one pot I used seedlings and the other I used seeds. One month in and I’m loving the established herb garden. It’s filling out and almost ready to have it’s herbs trimmed.

The seeded herb garden is very slow going. It’s likely that it hasn’t been warm enough and I jumped the gun this year. But they are growing, it’s just SLOW.

My opinion is to follow your budget, if you can get seedlings (especially if you are a new gardener), do it. You’ll get instant gratification.

Soil options

When you are at the garden store and looking at the options for garden soil, be very careful that you get the correct soil for your growing conditions.

If you are using a container, you need “Potting or Container Soil”. If you are growing in the ground you need “Garden Soil”.

There are additives to the container or potting soil to help with moisture control and that is what you want. If going organic is important to you, there are organic selections available as well.

Plant seedling
Photo by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash

Plant selection for your salad garden

This is the fun part! Dream about what kind of vegetables you would like in your salad. Consider your container size and then make a written plan before going to shop.

Growing lettuces for your salad garden

First, what kind of leaves do you want? A container garden isn’t suited to iceberg lettuce for space reasons. You can grow a lot more leafy type lettuces in a small space. Some choices are: leaf lettuce varieties, Arugula, Baby Spinach, and kale.

Green lettuces salad
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

Growing vegetables for a salad garden

Next, vegetables that are suitable for a container given you have the space.

Radishes can be used around the edges and are ready in 3-4 weeks. Plant a few at a time on a weekly basis so that you have a continuous harvest. These are easily planted from seed. Get a variety pack for interesting looking radishes.

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Fresh radishes from the garden
Photo by penny schiereck on Unsplash

Carrots are easily planted from seed but I have seen seedlings for sale as well. Plant them a few at a time around the border of your container for a continuous harvest. Drop a few seeds every week to 10 days.

Tomatoes are a salad garden requirement! Get these as seedlings for quick payoff. Be sure to select a patio or dwarf variety for space saving. Also, consider a separate container for this guy to go solo. Always plant a marigold flower next to your tomatoes to keep away the horn worms.

Herbs like basil and cilantro are great for including in salads and in your cooking in general. Consider adding other herbs like: dill, chives, oregano.

Other plants to consider

How about cabbage or cucumber or both? If you are feeling adventurous, I recommend using a container with a trellis behind it or over it and grow a cucumber or zucchini plant! They both need to climb and you can train them gently up the trellis with twine. These are easy to grow and give you quick payoff.

Fresh cabbages in the garden
Photo by Noble Brahma on Unsplash

As for the cabbage, get a solitary container for this guy to spread out and grow big. Grow one or more in different containers or at the end of a flower box. Start with a seedling as these take forever from seed in my opinion.

Watering & Care

Because you are growing in a container, you will find that your soil dries out quickly. Pay close attention to your dirt especially on hot days. You may also consider a self-watering container if you worry that you might forget to check or don’t have the time.

Girl watering seedings
Photo by Cassidy Phillips on Unsplash

If you see bugs on your plants, remove them by hand. I know, it’s gross, but just put on a glove and “re-home” them. Don’t use chemicals, this is your food that is going into your belly. Be kind to your belly.

Sunlight vs. Artificial Light

If you are growing outdoors, be sure to put your container where it will get adequate sunlight. Lettuces tend to be very sensitive to hot temperatures and prefer an area that gets filtered sunlight in the hot afternoons.

Alternatively, if you are growing indoors, purchase a quality grow light. There are tons of these on Amazon at reasonable prices. Think of all the money that won’t be going into your trash can because you are growing your own food!

Seedlings growing in sun
Photo by Francesco Gallarotti on Unsplash

Harvest and enjoy

As your lettuce grows and is ready to eat, just clip it with clean scissors. It will grow back! Radishes are ready when you see their red shoulders pop through the soil. Replenish them with seed. The same goes for carrots, look for orange shoulders in the dirt.

fresh garden tomatoes
Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

I hope you have enjoyed this post and will consider giving this a try. Growing a salad garden is an easy project even for a beginner gardener. Let me know if you give it a try.

Check out my other gardening articles here.

Grow fresh salad veggies in a small space
Grow fresh salad veggies in a small space

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48 Replies to “Grow a Salad Garden”

  1. I can not wait to have my own vegetable patch one day. I currently only grow herbs. Great advice, thank you for sharing with us.
    Alyssa
    Thesacredspaceap.com

    1. Thanks for sharing a post on growing things in pots particularly! I moved in with my partner last year who has a completely concrete back yard and we’ve been racking our brains to think what we can do out there. Salad in pots could be the answer! 😀

  2. I love your blog! I also love gardens!! I am so excited to read all of your content. I can’t wait for summer so I can grow veggies again!

  3. This post is so amazing! 😍
    I have been looking after this kind of post and I have already the one for newbies open in a new tab! I have to get familiar with some wording, but I have been wanting to give it a try for a long time. The idea of vertical gardens are fun – I had seen ones using wood pallets, seems a nice option to have in balconies. Thankkk you for sharing all this amazing content! ♥️

  4. Such a great idea! It is a shame that we do not have as much great weather in the UK but many people do take advantage of the seasons and are taking the opportunity more than ever now to grown their own fruit, vegetables and herbs in their gardens, greenhouses and on allotments. Great tips!

    ATPGoneSerious.blogspot.com

    1. We are starting to see more community gardens in our city. I love to watch Monty Don when he fixes an allotment…there’s nothing like growing your own food for sure! Thanks for coming by.

  5. This is so worth doing! There is nothing better than organic…tomatoes are a must! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh I love a good veggie garden. Not only does the produce of your hard work have health benefits. There are benefits to your mental health too. When you are digging in the dirt, you are balancing yourself.

    There are quite a few people who believe that walking around and making direct contact with the earth has quite a few benefits.

    1. I agree! I am also currently writing about the health benefits of gardening. There is scientific research out there that proves it! Stay tuned.
      Thank you for coming by!

  7. Love the explanation on the different soils. I’m wanting to do herbs but have been unsuccessful in the past. This may be the reason! Going to plant some this weekend !

  8. These are great tips for starting a little salad garden. there definitely is nothing better than eating something that you have grown. It tastes x10 better doesn’t it?
    Last year I somehow managed to have a bumper crop of tomatoes, we were inundated. The only downside is I think I planted them too late so they never fully ripened. I’m hoping to get out in the garden this weekend to start planting a few seeds. Fingers crossed there won’t be any frost!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo
    https://www.aimsysantics.co.uk

    1. I wish you NO FROST!! Lol. I jumped the gun this year and had a few nights that it threatened frost but we scraped by. Whew. Lucky 🍀
      Thanks for reading!

  9. Thank you, this is so useful! We’re currently planning our garden but I’d totally love leaves! How often do you resow lettuce and spinach, or do you just plant the once?

    1. Great question Hannah! Depending on how much you eat, I’d start at every 2 weeks sowing new seeds. You can make that every week if you find you’re running low or extend it if there’s too much. Happy growing!!

  10. Loved this post as always. I especially love growing herbs but have branched out into verges. Pumpkins are going great guns at the moment. Thanks so much for sharing your passion! Loved it.

    1. Thanks Rach! My pumpkins haven’t even sprouted yet. I’ve given them a pep talk but it’s just been very un-Floridalike around here! I’m holding out hope.

  11. Lovely post! I grow tomatoes, kale, lettuce, and peppers every year in my backyard! There is nothing more rewarding than growing your own food and knowing where everything came from. Thanks for all the tips! I will be sure to pass them on to my mom. (:

    GABBY | http://www.gabbyabigaill.com

  12. Hi! I recently told my husband that when we move, I want to plant a garden! Great info!
    This got me kinda excited about it!
    4youiwill.blog

  13. Looks like some good info on a salad garden that I want to do this year. I am just not good with vegetables. So I need all the help I can get!

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