Get Dirty to Eat Clean: How to Grow a Salad Garden

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Wanna eat more greens? Grow your own salad garden! You’ll get the maximum boost from vitamins and minerals when you grow lettuce, arugula, and other greens at home.

Plus you literally can’t get any fresher than a salad you picked 10 minutes before eating it!

Choosing Your Plants

There are a huge variety of greens to choose from, and it can feel overwhelming to decide. We love butter lettuce for its tender leaves and slightly sweet crunch–for our money, romaine is way overrated!

It’s a good idea to plant a few different varieties of lettuce, as well as other salad greens to create your own spring mix. There will be a certain amount of trial and error as you discover which varieties will do best in your garden. We also recommend skipping heirloom seeds for now if you’re a total beginner. Read more about why here!

In addition to greens, you might also grow radishes, carrots, herbs, and even peppers and tomatoes. It depends on how much space you have for planting–and how much time you want to devote to your salad garden. If you’re new to gardening, start small with a plot of 2-4 types of greens.

Grow a Salad Garden in a Window Box

The good news is that you don’t need a massive space to grow enough salad greens for your household. In fact, you can grow a decent crop of lettuce in window boxes!

If you’re an apartment dweller, then choose planters or window boxes that are at least 8 inches deep. Drainage holes are absolutely necessary–otherwise, the roots of your tender little plants may rot.

Choose a potting mix that has plenty of fertilizer mixed in. Before you sow your seeds, get the potting mix damp but not soaked.

Following the directions on the seeds you’ve chosen, sow your salad garden in the planters. You’ll have edible plants anywhere from 1-2.5 months from now. Just avoid over-watering and add fertilizer every 2 weeks or so to ensure that your plants have enough nutrients.

How to Harvest Your Greens

Most salad greens are tolerant of aggressive harvesting. That means that you can pick a few outer leaves for a quick salad or harvest the entire head as long as you leave an inch of the plant behind. The greens will regrow, providing you with a never-ending salad bowl!

Always use a sharp, clean knife or shears to harvest your greens. Tearing the entire plant out of the ground isn’t necessary until you’re 100% sure that you’ve reached the end of the growing season.