Salad, the types and varieties are endless. With a large selection of lettuces and greens, paired with an innumerable amount of toppings, every person can have their own preferences for what makes a great salad. My hubs loves a crunchy romaine topped with bacon, cheese, and sunflower seeds. I, on the other hand, love the peppery bite of arugula with chunks of feta, thin-sliced red onion, and fresh tomatoes. (Or strawberry salad, delicious!)
I’m willing to bet you also have your preferences for how a salad is constructed. Luckily, salad greens are some of the easiest things to grow in the garden and in containers. Whether growing from seed or plants from a local store, growing salad greens is fun and easy!
Container Salad Garden
For those without garden space, or who just want to try their hand at a small salad selection, container gardening is the perfect solution. And if you’ve struggled a bit with a black thumb in the past, growing a container salad garden can help to ease you into gardening success! Here’s what you’ll need for your container salad garden:
- Medium to Large Container (I used this fabulous metal tub) If you use a tub or bucket, be sure to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
- Quality Potting Soil (I made my own, and here’s the quick DIY Potting Soil recipe.)
- Granular Fertilizer (Espoma or an organic fertilizer is my pick.)
- Seeds or Plants (My favorites: Romaine, Kale, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Mesclun, Spinach, Buttercrunch, and Mizuna greens)
Creating Your Salad Garden
- Begin by making sure your container has adequate drainage. If you purchased an actual “flower” pot from the store, you should be good to go. If you’re using something that wasn’t intended for plants, you may need to grab a drill and make some drainage holes in the bottom. (For my steel tub, I actually made it into a self-watering planter, which I’ll post about later in the week.) Once you have your container chosen and ready, begin by filling 2/3 of the way up with potting soil.
- Place fertilizer in the middle of your container. The amount of fertilizer depends on the size of your container (the fertilizer bag will have proportions). I put fertilizer in the middle, and once filled, will plant my greens along the sides, so the roots aren’t sitting on the fertilizer, but it’s still being released to the plants.
- Fill your container the rest of the way up with potting soil, covering up your fertilizer.
- Now comes the fun part, planting your salad! For seeds, simply follow the packet instructions for depth and spacing. For plants, choose the varieties you like best and place them around the container, being aware of where your fertilizer is. Choose plants based on color, too. A variety of colors and heights will make for a beautiful, and tasty, container salad garden! (Here I am using Red Russian Kale, Buttercrunch, Mizuna Greens, and Swiss Chard.) Space your plants out so they have plenty of room to grow. You can always come back and add more later if there is room.
- Water your seeds or plants, being careful to avoid wetting the leaves. Finally, if you’ve used plants, mulch around them. This helps retain moisture, which is important when planting a container garden. If you have used seeds, you can sow thickly enough that the plants themselves will help to shade the soil and keep in moisture. Now sit back and watch your little babies grow!
I’ll update the post as the greens grow, because they will fill out and keep growing even after harvests. Harvest as the leaves get large enough and be sure to keep your salad well watered, but not swimming. I’d love to know what you choose to grow in your container salad garden!