It’s truly amazing to watch a sliver of a seed sprout into a full head of lettuce. A palette of other cool-season veggies and herbs are happy to keep lettuce company.
Dark green spinach contrasts beautifully with light green lettuce, while dark red lettuce becomes an instant focal point. Feathery dill, upright onions and spring-green cilantro make terrific texture plants to use as a visual frame or backdrop. Even coarse-textured radishes look pretty in a well-composed salad garden.
And bringing them together is simple. Dill, spinach and onion sets give good results when grown from purchased plants. Popular salad crops planted directly from seed include arugula, beets, cilantro and radishes. Lettuce is easy to grow either from seed or seedlings.
6 Tips for a Successful Salad Garden:
- Draw a planting plan of the salad crops you want to grow.
- Dig a row in a sunny, well-drained spot and mix in a balanced organic or slow-release fertilizer. Follow label directions. Or you can grow a salad garden in a container.
- Place seeds evenly into rows, spacing 1” apart.
- Cover with 1/4” of soil and pat gently to firm the soil around the seeds. Water seedlings you’ve purchased before planting.
- Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate and the transplants show new growth. Thin seedlings to 2” apart.
- As your salad garden grows, water often with a fine spray early in the day. With leafy salad crops, watering late in the day can cause mildew.
While you wait for your salad greens to grow, fill the space between rows with onion sets, and pull them young for use as scallions.