My girls/chickens have been way too curious this spring. Now I don’t mind them making their way to the herb garden and pecking away at the chickweed, dead nettle and henbit. Or scratching in the newly tilled vegetable garden rows. But after they decided to decimate a huge pot that I seeded a couple weeks ago with mixed salad greens, those girls are on my naughty list. I have to replant it and cover it with some netting. The good thing is it’s an easy fix.
And practical. Many greens are “cut and come again”. Cut them down to soil level and new growth starts quickly.
Grow in the ground, or in a container. Just about any container works, with good soil and drainage. This year, colander gardens are popular. And pricey! Make your own at a fraction of the cost.
That’s what I’m doing with the little ones. I have enough colanders so we’re good to go. (Buy colanders at dollar or thrift stores).
Maybe you’d like to have a salad greens garden, too. Choices are endless. You can plant a single variety or a mix. You don’t have to stop there, either. Think of companion vegetables, like radishes and perhaps small carrots. Plant those in another colander.
Make sure the container you use fits what you grow.
Most salad greens grow quickly, and do best in cooler weather, though there are some that are more heat tolerant. Read labels to find which is best for you.
The bonus? You’ll be getting fresh air, and I guarantee a helping hand from kids tending their own special garden. They love to watch the growth process. Nutritional rewards are a given.
Here’s how to make a salad bowl garden in a colander.
For first timers, maybe do just lettuces for a faster harvest. Plant a single variety or mix them up.
What you’ll need for a salad bowl colander garden
Potting soil mix
Seeds: leaf and other lettuces, spinach, chard, arugula, radishes, carrots
Spray bottle or sprinkler type watering can
Label: popsicle stick or whatever
Line colander with coffee filters to keep soil in and allow good drainage. Tape filters if necessary. Moisten evenly.
Pour soil in 3/4 of the way up. Tamp down to smooth.
Sprinkle seeds evenly over surface. You can sprinkle on a good amount of seeds.
Pour a tiny bit of soil on top of seeds, just enough to cover. They germinate in the dark under soil.
Tamp down gently.
Water very lightly and gently.
Add label and date. I like to use the seed packet on a popsicle stick.
Place in sunny spot.
Water as needed. Keep evenly moist but not soggy.
Watch closely – in a week or so you’ll see all those tiny seeds sprouting.
Some varieties are ready to eat in 3 weeks.
As mentioned above, lettuces can be cut and come again!
Tip: growing radishes and carrots
Grow together if you like.
Plant small variety carrots in center of colander (the deepest part) and radishes near outside edge.