Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Salad Garden
Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Gary Stephen
Love gardening and want to eat healthy too? Growing a salad garden is the ideal first step to take, but where to start?
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’ve done the research so you can get back to gardening. There is one easy way to grow your own salad garden. Start by building a raised bed that contains several kinds of salad vegetables. But remember, growing a salad garden is not exclusive to those with large backyards or grounds. Even if you live in an apartment, you still have the choice of planting these green crops on balconies, without much fuss! You only need a ceramic pot, terracotta cylinder, bowl, or plastic planters. Or any wide gardening containers to enjoy the beauty of these leafy crops as well as the fresh taste of them. It’s as simple as that to jump right into vegetable garden action.
To do so, try these 5 tips:
Tip 1: You can plant so many varieties for your salad garden.
You might prefer spicy or mild-flavored vegetables. Try to make a colorful interesting salad mix that captivates the beholder’s eyes. But remember, try not to grow plants you or your family don’t like or eat very much. What would be the point? Have a look at these family favorites:
- Radishes and Carrots
- Arugula (Rocket)
- Green Onions
- Curly kale
Plus, you can find many types for the same crop. For example, there are so many available varieties of lettuce to choose from, such as Leaf lettuce, Romaine, Iceberg, Bibb, Boston, Radicchio, Endives, Lollo Rossa, and Red Sails.
Tip 2: Choose the right time to plant your garden salad.
Usually, these leafy crops take less time to germinate in spring as they like cool weather. They prefer a 50-77°F or 10-25°C temperature. Below or above this is not appropriate for growing those greens. You may start sowing the seeds when temperatures are above 10 °C or 50°F like mustard, spinach, and arugula. It is better to sow them in early spring or late summer to get the best gardening results. Still, you can plant these salad vegetables throughout the year. If the temperature is more than 77°F (25°C), try to grow your vegetables in the shade. Or try to cover your container with shade cloth to prevent forming seeds. There is one thing important to know, though. When you grow these vegetables out of season, they do not taste good and tend to be bitter. Also, pests and bugs attack those crops due to the pressure of growing out of season. A tiny related tip whispered in your ears here: Never never spray your salad garden! Do you know why? To enjoy the natural taste of your fresh home-grown veggies.
Tip 3: Fertilize your soil every two weeks.
Grow salad vegetables in fertile soil or try to enrich your soil by adding nutrients into the top inches of it. Fill your container with a mixture of compost, manure, and other organic fertilizers. Rich soil will contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They are important for the plant’s growth, new root forming, flowering, finally fruiting.
Tip 4: Water your salad garden every day.
Water your salad garden on a regular basis. Whether you grow them in the ground or in containers, these greens usually need moist soil. Since they are the watery type of plants. For example, vegetables such as lettuce and cucumber consist of over 90% water. So, never ever let your salad greens start to wilt or dry out. In other words, they should get enough water. Try to plant them near a hose bib to ensure an easy process of water reaching. At the same time, you’re not advised to overwater them to the degree of staying in stagnant water for a long time. Now, how to check if your crops need water or not? Don’t tell any gardener that we told you this! Get your index finger deep inside the soil (to about the third knuckle). If you can’t feel any wetness there, then your greens need water.
Important hint. Try to water these leafy greens without letting their leaves soaked in water. That is to prevent fungal diseases that get favored by moist conditions. You will find guides about gardening on https://www.columbiaflorist.net. I recommend you visit this site if you want to get your hands into the world of gardening.
Tip 5: A common tendency among gardeners is to harvest crops on a regular basis.
Most salad vegetables grow fast and become ready to harvest after 4 to 6 weeks of planting. To say the least, you can start harvesting after 30 days from seeding, depending on their growth level. In fact, harvesting stimulates growth and slows down the plant seeding. Most important is, it provides you with the fresh food needed every day.
For a longer harvest, even if you are not going to eat these crops, pick their leaves every week. Store them in your fridge for later usage to let leaves sprout. They will produce new ones a few weeks after you harvest them. An extra tip can be useful to mention here. To harvest your leafy crops, cut them with sharp scissors an inch above the soil line.
Growing a salad garden is easier than you think, and you can even do it an apartment! Hmm, just imagine skipping the queue at the grocery store and heading to your very own “outlet” for a taste of the good, healthy and inexpensive life. In this article, we discussed a few simple tips to get your garden going. So, what are you waiting for? Get reading, get your hands dirty and get healthy with your very own (super easy to grow) salad garden.