Veggies On Demand: Grow Your Own Salad Garden
It’s time to toss salad, but you won’t need any wooden spoons. Instead, start growing your own fresh salad ingredients at home so you can ditch those limp bags of browning iceberg in the crisper. Next, toss the fast-food salad habit, then give up on those $9 per pound “seasonal greens.” Don’t let the idea of growing your own food make you even a tiny bit nervous. A salad garden is the ultimate fast-start hobby and a green thumb is not required (honest.)
What you do need is a little vegetable-grade potting soil (or a small patch you’ve dug near the back door,) some seeds or bedding plants, and some easy-to-follow instructions, which are conveniently located in the following paragraphs.
So, get going, get growing! A few handfuls of microgreens can be on your salad plate in 17 days, but they’re not going to plant themselves. Here is the step-by-step to follow:
1. Start Fast And Simple
The amazing thing about growing lettuce is that it actually prefers cool fall and spring weather, and you can even grow it inside on a sunny windowsill.
That makes it the natural first choice for a salad garden, but, make sure you choose the simplest lettuce to grow and as well as a variety you’ll actually use so you’ll have immediate success.
You probably don’t want to start with any of the “crisphead” or “romaine” varieties, since they take a while and are easily obtained at the store. Instead, consider “looseleaf” lettuce that you cut with scissors starting when it’s just an inch or so tall.
A good choice is mesclun mix, sold in a single packet, so you’ll get some variety. You might also opt for beets, which provide tiny greens early on and marble-size “baby beets” to roast for earthy salads a little later in the season.