Pender Gardener

Plant a salad bowl garden

Shallow bowl-shaped containers are an attractive way to grow a variety of salad greens in a single pot.

Charlotte Glen
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM.

Plant a Salad Bowl Garden

Don’t let limited garden space stop you from growing vegetables this fall. Many cool season crops are easy to grow in containers and now is the time to plant them. Salad greens like lettuce, spinach, and arugula thrive even in shallow pots. They are often planted mixed together with herbs and other greens in bowl shaped containers, providing all the ingredients you need for healthy, tasty salads in a single pot. 


Supplies Needed

You do not need a lot of supplies to start a salad bowl garden. Start with the container, which does not have to be bowl shaped. Rectangular window box containers and round pots work just as well. Containers of many types can be recycled for the purpose as long as they are at least six inches deep and have several drainage holes drilled in the bottom. I have even seen cardboard boxes used as planting containers for a single season. An old t-shirt can be wrapped around the outside of the box to help it hold together.

Next you need potting soil. Most potting soils will work well, but avoid those that have a lot of bark in them. They are too coarse for smaller pots and will dry out too quickly. If you are unsure what to buy, choose a seed starting mix. These mixes usually contain a combination of peat moss and vermiculite and are designed for use in shallow containers. There is no need to buy a soil that already contains fertilizer. In fact, it is usually better to add fertilizer separately. 

You will also need plants! You could sow seed into your containers and grow your own plants, but since you will not need many plants it is often easier and quicker to purchase transplants from a garden center. Young lettuce plants are readily available, including those with green, red, frilled, and lobed leaves. Other greens that can be included in your salad bowl include mizuna, a mild flavored Chinese mustard, spinach, tatsoi, arugula, Swiss chard, and spicy red mustard. Add dill, cilantro, or parsley plants for additional flavor. You could even include edible flowers like pansies or Johnny jump ups, which have a mild, sweet flavor.

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