A big plastic box of salad greens is most likely a regular item on your weekly grocery list. It's the all-too-familiar Sunday ritual of perusing the produce section, trying to find the best container of overpriced-leaves. You find what looks to be the "freshest" one, but deep down, you know its fate is in part, a tasteless salad and the rest, to rot in the fridge.
Stop shelling out your hard-earned gold for these expensive and nutrient-stripped greens and start growing your own! Patience is hardly a requirement as lettuces mature quickly.
There are hundreds if not thousands of seeds that can pose for salad greens, all coming with diverse flavor & nutrient profiles, especially when consumed fresh. With a square foot of sunny space, you can be picking and eating your own salad in 14-20 days. Once you start harvesting, the greens will actually grow back and you'll be able to harvest again 3-5 days later! If taken care of and occasionally fertilized, your plants will be producing like this for weeks (maybe months) on end.
Here's how to grow your salad garden:
- Pick out a 12" pot (or bucket) that has 6"-12" depth and fill the bottom 2" with small rocks or cut-out foam for drainage.
- Fill up the container with fresh, organic potting soil to the top. Water the soil so that it is moistened throughout and the soil settles an inch or two. This will leave enough room to plant on top.
- Grab your Salad Container Seedsheet and place it on top of your soil, seed-side-down. Poke all three stakes in to secure the sheet.
- Water gently with a watering can until the film completely dissolves and the soil from within the pouches is thoroughly moist.
- Place in a sunny spot inside or a medium to full-sun location outside.
- Water enough to keep the soil moist. If seeds dry out before germinating completely, they won't have a chance at survival! Try not to water too much--you don't want the soil sitting like a saturated sponge. If you space receives limited light, you may only need to water every few days.
Give it a shot! Try out your space to see for yourself the best way to grow & maintain a fresh salad buffet.
- Salad greens don't like it hot, they actually prefer cooler temperatures and indirect light. However, If seedlings look small and spindly, they may be getting too much water and/or not enough light. Be sure to keep soil moist, and only water when the top half inch is dry to avoid drowning the roots.
- When plants are stressed, whether limited on nutrients, receiving too much sun, or not getting enough water, they'll "bolt", or send up a central stalk with flower buds. At this point, the leaves become bitter and plants should be pulled to begin fresh again.