If you love munching on hearty green salads and want to do so all year round, you don’t have to go to your favorite restaurant anymore. Salad greens can be grown right in your house, and maintaining a salad garden is easier than you might think. Salad greens need little space, can be harvested as early as four weeks after planting the seeds, and require very little maintenance. Here’s everything you need to know about preparing your garden to make homegrown salads.
Select the right seeds
In hot areas or seasons, choose slow-bolt lettuce varieties and alternative greens such as Malabar spinach, collards, turnips, and sweet potatoes. In colder areas or seasons, choose lettuce varieties such as arctic king, winter marvel, or arugula Astro. For alternative greens, try kale, chicory, or mustard.
Prepare beds and over seed
Your garden bed needs loamy and nitrogen-rich soil. Add vegetable compost for fertilization and over seed the garden beds. Don’t push the seeds too deep into the soil. Simply scatter them and add water.
Water them without fail
Garden greens have a lot of water in them, so you need to water your plants every day. Until the garden beds are covered by the leaves, water your greens once a day in cold climates and twice a day in warmer climates. You’ll also need to check the soil regularly. Push a finger into the soil and if it feels too dry, add more water.
Fertilize and harvest timely
Every two or three weeks, add fertilizers such as vegetable compost, compost tea, or any other organic fertilizer. Once your greens are about 4-5 inches in height, make a clean cut at the base using a knife or a pair of scissors. Make sure to leave the roots in the soil so that they grow again.
You don’t have to necessarily plant your garden greens in beds of soil. If you are low on space, you can put your seeds in a wide-mouthed container, window-boxes, or even large fabric bags and follow all the above instructions for the greenest and leafiest homegrown salads.