Grow Your Own Salad Greens

Grow Your Own Salad Greens

Are you looking for quick crops to supplement your diet? Salad greens are a great choice. With even a small garden space, large pots or a small raised bed you can grow your own salad at home. Say good bye to plastic clam shells of baby greens and hello fresh! To get started all you need are seeds, potting soil and planting containers. These step by step instructions are great for lettuce, mustard greens, arugula, kale and other greens and will take you from seeding to transplanting. If you plan to sow your seeds directly in your garden bed stay tuned for the next blog post!

Step 1- Fill your containers with potting soil and tamp the soil down to about 18/14/inch below the container top. Wait! If you are stuck at home due to covid19, as many are now, and need to improvise on the potting soil here are some ideas.

         1. Mix garden soil with compost and sand or perlite if you have it. .

         2. Mix garden soil with old potting soil from a dead house plant 

         3. Add small gravel to the bottoms of your containers for drainage and just                 use garden soil

I start these types of greens in trays that have 98 cells 1 inch wide by 2 inches deep. But there are many alternatives such as: old 6 packs for plant starts, egg cartons, small cups, yogurt containers, etc. If you are upcycling plastic containers just be sure to poke some holes in the bottom for drainage. 

Plant 2-4 seeds per cell

Step 2- Plant 2-5 seeds per cell. I always seed heavy to ensure good germination then thin to the best seedling in each cell. Next if you have a spray bottle wet the seeds in the cells. This helps the seeds stay in place when the top layer of soil is added. 

Spray seeds lightly with water after planting

Step 3- To cover the seeds I like to sift the potting soil through a 1/4 inch screen or a sieve dedicated to the garden. This gets any big chunks out of the soil and spreads an even layer over the seeds. My top tip for planting depth is to plant seeds twice as deep as the seed is big. For small seeds like these you don't want to cover the seed by any more than 1/8-1/4 inch. 

Smooth the soil evenly over the seeds and wet the entire tray down now either with the spray bottle or a fine spray with the hose. 

Your seedlings should emerge in 3-10 days. Thin them to one per cell. Transplant into your garden at 8-12 inch spacing when the seedlings are about 2 inches tall. You should have baby greens ready to eat within 30 days from planting! 

Thin seedlings to one per cell

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