Winter “Salad Bowl” Gardening | Omaha Ideas

    Do you want to grow your own greens but don’t have the space to grow them? Try a salad bowl garden! A salad bowl garden can be grown in any climate and take very little materials and skills to grow.

    Winter Gardening | Omaha NE
    Photo by Flickr user: 305 Seahill

    Benefits of Salad Bowl Gardening

    Growing your own salad allows you to create a gourmet mix unique to your own taste. It also allows you to enjoy every stage of the leaf which is something you rarely find in stores. It takes very little effort and no extra space to grow a salad bowl garden. Also, if the weather is too harsh for your plants outside you can bring them inside to extend your growing season.

    Supplies:

    • Container
    • Moist potting soil
    • Seeds
    • Fertilizer

    How to Grow a Salad Bowl Garden

    Get creative with your container! Use a container that matches your décor. Mixing bowls, flower pots, trays, colanders and even wheelbarrows are all examples of containers that have been used for small gardens. Any container that is at least 18 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches deep works well for salad greens.

    Most soils bought in the store will come already moistened. However, if your soil is dry it is important to water the soil at least a day before. This will ensure that your seeds get a consistent water supply during germination. Spread the seeds evenly over the soil. Once the seedlings reach an inch tall, you may thin them out if needed.

    Fertilizer is important if you plan to take several cuttings from your garden. Your plants will deplete the soil of nutrients very quickly and will stop leafing out if they do not have the right amount of nutrients. Fertilize at half-strength when the plants are four to six inches tall and then at full strength every 2 weeks after that.

    Watering seems like a no brainer, but the amount of water applied is important. Overwatering can cause your plants to rot or grow unwanted fungus, and underwatering will cause your plants to wilt. Water your garden as soon as the soil is dry to the touch.

    Your plants are ready to harvest after just a few weeks when they are at least four inches tall. Cut all plants below the soil line with a pair of sharp scissors to allow the plant to regenerate. In order to keep your lettuce from tasting bitter weed out any plants that become stalky, and pick your greens early in the morning before the sun hits the leaves. Once your greens are picked, rinse them with cold water and store them in the refrigerator in an open plastic bag for up to 10 days.

    What should I grow?

    In order to keep your salad bowl garden simple and tasty choose a variety of greens that will offer a mixture of color and taste. Loose leaf varieties are the best because you will be able to harvest more than once. Red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and arugula are three varieties of greens that are perfect for a salad bowl garden. The two varieties of lettuce will provide bright red and green color, and the arugula will offer a spicy, nutty flavor that will jazz up any salad.

    Salad bowl gardens are a great way to add fresh, healthy, and convenient greens to your daily life year round. These gardens can be as small as a mixing bowl, or as big as a planter box. Whatever you choose, salad greens are easy to grow and take very little additional space.

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