With the recent scares dealing with lettuce spinach and other green a Salad garden is a great idea plus it has a great look. Another benefit is that you know your green are very fresh and they can be totally chemical free.
Your salad garden can consist of a variety of lettuces, Bok Choy, radishes, peas, onions, cucumbers, beans, carrots, edible flowers and herbs.
To set up a salad garden select a sunny spot for a garden bed or a collection of containers. Lettuces are best when they are young so make sure you will check on the garden regularly. Hint: A salad garden is best by a patio or just outside the kitchen.
Place your salad garden near a water source. Most lettuce or green crops need plenty of water. It’s also best to give the garden an eastern exposure as well.
Graph paper will help you get a better feel for laying the garden out. I always use paper and sketch a rough plan. Its always different when I finally plant but it helps me remember the crops I want and place them in a more useful and pleasing way.
Put the tallest plants on the east side so they don’t cast a shadow all day long on the plants below. You can also use that shadow to keep greens sweet at midsummer. Spinach is one crop that will benefit from this shady spot.
Edge with the garden with edible flowers like nasturtium and dianthus for color and make the planting area inviting. Herbs also make a great border.
To get the most use out of your garden plan a tight planting and a quick-succession harvest. One example is four leaf lettuce plants in 1 square foot, or four spinach, two chard or a dozen green onion sets. Harvest the first leaves of each and later the whole plant.
It’s important to design your garden so it suits you and your family all season. Bush cucumbers will replace early Bibb lettuce. And you can replace tomatoes with fall collards and garlic at season’s end. Lettuce varieties can be panted until hard frost hit. And if determined you can use cold frames to extend the season.
- Make use of succession planting (replacing old crops with new crops) to make better use of your garden space
- Dwarf and bush varieties take less space.
- If you trellis some of your vegetables it will make better use of space and will add dimension and interest to the garden. And if you put a trellis along one side it will help shade summer spinach and chives. Peas will also benefit from this.
- Container gardens make for an interesting salad garden and can be moved indoors for a longer growing season
Tags: theme gardens, salad gardens, miniature gardens, succession planting for small areas