Vegetables

Growing a Salad Garden: Learning to Grow Potted Vegetables

Never again will you have an excuse not to eat a fresh green salad if you grow it in a pot. It’s super easy, fast and inexpensive. Plus, growing vegetables in containers allows you to select the types of vegetables you prefer instead of just one of those supermarket mixes. Containerized green salads are also cheaper than store-bought baby green salads. A salad garden is a real winner. Read on to learn how to grow vegetables in a pot.

The advantages of a salad garden

Although the choice of supermarkets continues to expand, there are usually only a handful of vegetables available in the stores. This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more greens to choose from and many of them are more colourful (i.e. not only tastier but also more nutritious than store-bought greens).

In addition, it is easy to grow your own micro-vegetables at a fraction of the cost. Green vegetables can also be harvested by simply pulling out the leaves instead of the whole plant. This means that you have a continuous supply of fresh vegetables when you grow vegetables in containers. You should be able to enjoy 3 to 4 harvests of each plant, but you can also plant in a row, so that in a few weeks you will have a whole new plant to harvest.

In addition, vegetables grown in pots are less susceptible to chewing by pests or soil-borne diseases.

Salad vegetables grown in containers do not require a lot of space or even a lot of effort. And, with a quick return, most lettuces ripen after being planted in about three weeks. This also makes it the perfect fun and educational project to work with your less patient children.

How to grow vegetables in a pot

Lettuce is one of the oldest vegetables, developed from prickly lettuce, which as its name suggests was a less desirable green. By removing the less desirable features, such as thorns, a more edible lettuce was created.

Today, there are hundreds of different vegetable cultivars to choose from and, in addition to lettuce, you can grow other vegetables such as spinach, beet leaves, kale or Swiss chard. You can also include edible flowers or herbs to add a touch of flavour to your salads. Note that not all plants listed here have the same growth requirements. For example, herbs are generally low maintenance and drought tolerant plants. They would not be included with your delicate vegetables, but could be grown in containers next to the salad garden.

To grow lettuce in a pot, choose a tray, pot or planter at least 18 cm (43 cm) wide and 6-12 cm (15-30 cm) deep. Make sure that the bottom of the container has adequate drainage holes.

Choose your vegetables. In addition to those mentioned above, some of the many types

include

  • Rocket
  • Watercress
  • Endive
  • Endive
  • Mache
  • Mizuna
  • Tatsoi

You can also choose to plant a “mesclun” mix, which usually includes arugula, lettuce, chervil and endive.

Fill the container with good quality, pre-moistened potting soil or your own. Sow the seeds densely with ½ inch in between. Keep the pot moist during and after germination. Thin out the plants when they are a few centimetres high with a pair of scissors. Then you can toss the tips into a salad like a micro-green.

When the plants are 4-6 cm (10-15 cm) tall, fertilize them with a medium-strength soluble fertilizer. The plants can be harvested after a few weeks by cutting only the desired leaves.

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