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Who doesn’t love fresh salad veggies in the summer? There’s nothing better! PLUS, they are so easy to grow, but not everyone has the room or time to garden. No problem, today I am going to show you how to have fresh salad all summer long with “How to Grow a Salad Container Garden”!
This little project is perfect for:
- Folks who don’t have access to soil to garden.
- Those who work a lot of hours and don’t have much time.
- Urban dwellers with sunlight from a window or balcony.
- Avid gardeners who may need to take a year off for illness.
- New mothers who don’t have time to garden.
It starts with this….an empty pot.
It doesn’t have to be any particular size or shape, just go with what you have on hand and get started. However, a 12″ pot would be the smallest I would go with to feed one person.
Other vessels for your salad container garden that would work are old whiskey barrels, 5-gallon buckets, empty feed sacks or even old plastic drawers or storage boxes. Keep it simple, you can always modify later. Just make sure you allow for drainage in unconventional containers!
You’re going to need some good planting soil, available at your local nursery. Look for organic, as always.
For this project, I’m using an over-wintered tomato plant for my salad container garden….a cherry-tomato plant will work best for this sized pot.
I’m choosing to plant spinach, lettuce, chives and radishes with my tomato plant. Aside from the tomato plant, the other seeds are all fast growing and will allow continual harvest once they’re established! Awesome!
I prefer non-GMO seeds, but again, go with what’s available. Don’t let all the details get you hung up, let’s just get this dude planted!
I am just planting 10-12 seeds at most in this small pot. You’ll want to label and date your seeds, I can’t ever remember these things! That’s why I use my farm journal….
Follow the directions on your seed packets.
Here’s how things look as we begin. It’s going to take about 5 weeks before we get close to harvesting anything.
Keep the pot in the sun and keep the soil moist, but not soaked.
At the 2 week point, aren’t they adorable?
Three weeks out, the chives aren’t germinating so I’ll let those go. I’m considering a change in tomato plant, I’ll give it another week.
Do a little thinning in the radishes if needed, they need to be about 1″ apart.
Again, keep soil moist! I spray them with water from a spray bottle daily.
4 weeks: Changed tomato plant and added a small cage for support. The tomato plant will get large and heavy as the months go by.
5 weeks: We’re getting close to harvesting the greens!!! The tomato plant will take most of the summer before it produces, but you’ll have salad greens to clip from all summer! Whoo hoo!
Continue to clip from the greens as they become ready, this will promote growth!
See how easy this is???
If you are able to use a larger pot, say a whiskey barrel planter or a raised bed, you could do what is called “Succession Planting”.
This is where you plant seeds in succession of one another, see my chart below. Succession planting insures a continual harvest all summer long, and avoids having large harvests that you can’t eat fast enough.
I use succession planting with my green beans, that way I can get the first batch canned and put up before the next batch comes along. The beans get processed at their freshest point, and aren’t sitting around waiting for me to get to them.
With just a little more space, you can begin to succession plant your greens in a way that will render continual harvest all summer long! When you harvest, you plant the next round of seeds. This is simple and easy to manage, especially for people who are super busy, but want fresh food!!
I hope you’ll grab some seeds and anything that will hold some soil a grow a salad container garden today!