Growing salad greens is a satisfying short-term project that nearly any gardener can fit into their space and schedule. Most greens mature quickly and can be eaten at any stage, from microgreens to full-grown leaves. Buying plastic clamshells of prepared greens is expensive, especially given the environmental cost of shipping, storing, and packaging them. Growing fresh greens at home is a great way to make your garden space pay for itself.
When you grow your own salad, you can harvest what you need and eat it fresh. A patch of greens fits any garden space, from container plantings to an open spot in an ornamental bed. I’ve been growing my own salads for years. Here are some tips I’ve learned.
Choose your perfect mix
Turn to the “greens” section of any seed catalog, and you will find a wealth of options. A ready-made mix like the Salanova® lettuce collection (above)—designed to provide an appealing combination of colors, textures, and flavors—is an easy place to start. However, it’s not hard to put together your own delicious assortment. Experiment with the salad ingredients that sound good to you, and adjust the mix each year until you achieve your own perfect balance of flavors. When placing a seed order, get enough to keep you going all season; by planting something new every two to three weeks, you can keep the salad coming for many months.
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