What exactly is a Salad Bowl Garden you ask? A fabulous way for you to grow a meal in a container garden on a balcony, deck or even a sunny window. Lettuce is actually easy to grow.
3 Reasons To Grow Your Own Salad Bowl
Salad Bowl Gardening or lettuce bowl gardening, came to my attention during the early days of the Covid-19 Pandemic when the grocery stores had precious little to choose from. We purchased a salad bowl garden from a local rural gardening center and the rest is history as they say.
What Is A Salad Bowl Garden?
The basic idea is simple. You use a bowl or pot, filled with potting soil to plant your salad and salad fixings. A salad bowl or a lettuce bowl can include several different varieties of lettuce and a few of your favorite herbs. Or you can divide everything up in several different containers and grow a small tomato plant and a few green onions as well. Mix and match as you see fit, depending on what you like to eat.
Part of the fun of growing your own food is trying different varieties and combinations until you come up with the one that works best for you. Along the way, you get to sample and try different varieties of lettuce your local market may not offer or isn’t always available there. There is much more to a salad than plain old Iceberg lettuce.
Watch this video to hear just how easy it is to grow and harvest a lettuce bowl. You can do this!
1. Home grown salad greens taste better
Let’s start with the obvious reason first. Homegrown salad greens just plain tastes better. The greens are fresh and have been grown in good soil that you tended. Best of all, you know that your home grown salad greens have not been exposed with harmful pesticides.
We had never had homegrown lettuce before, until we purchased a salad bowl from a local garden center during the pandemic. Those fresh greens in our salads were fabulous. Walking out to my back porch and cutting the greens then taking them inside and preparing a meal with them was so worth any effort we made to grow our own food.
2. You Control The Variety
You can grow several varieties of lettuce in one salad bowl or grow only one variety in several if you like.
Grocery store produce varieties are grown for easy and uniform growth and longer shelf-life. Flavor and nutrition aren’t the main concerns. The opposite is true when you grow your own. You can pick varieties that taste amazing, but may not last more than a few hours in the fridge after you harvest them.
3. You Get Better Quality Vegetables
Last but certainly not least, your home-grown salad will be a lot healthier. For one thing, you control what goes into the soil and anything that happens to the plants as they grow. You control the use of organic pesticides and such. When you grow your own organic food, you can feel assured of the quality of food you ingest.
Another thing is that nutrients quickly start to deteriorate after produce is harvested. When you grow your own, you can go from soil to table in less than an hour. It doesn’t get any fresher than that, which means you get more of nature’s vitamins in your food.
Salads make great summer meals and lighter side dishes plus they are a healthier addition to our lunchbox when we are trying to eat lighter. Plus there is the importance of adding leafy greens to our diet too for the fiber they provide.
Why not start growing your own lettuce so you have a steady fresh supply of greens at your fingertips. It’s a lot easier than you think and there are some very good reasons why you should grow your own salad.
No Room For A Garden? Grow Your Salad Indoors
So you’re interested in giving this salad gardening a try. But maybe you don’t have a lot of space outside for a garden, or you’re just not that interested in digging up a big chunk of your lawn. The good news is you don’t have to. It doesn’t take a lot of space or soil to grow your own lettuce and you can do it inside, on your kitchen counter or in a sunny window.
The nice thing about lettuce is that most varieties don’t need a lot of space or soil to grow and they grow fairly fast. Lettuce also tends to grow well in temperatures that we’re most comfortable at in the house. As long as you find a nice sunny spot for your lettuce it will do well.
Cut and Regrow Lettuce Multiple Times
One of the simplest ways to start if you just want to try this out is to cut of the ends of your romaine lettuce from the store and sit them in a cup or container with a little water. Leave it in there for about a week or until you start to see new green growth coming from the cut end, and roots forming at the bottom. Once those roots are about an inch or two long, plant your new lettuce plant into a bowl or small pot filled with potting soil. Keep it watered and in a sunny window and watch your lettuce grow. You can cut and regrow more lettuce several times.
Another fun option is to get lettuce seedlings at your local home and garden center. They will usually keep them stocked in the spring and depending on your local growing season again in late summer or early fall. Again, just grab a pot or an old bowl, fill it with good potting soil and plant your lettuce. It won’t take long before it grows enough that you can start to harvest.
Last but not least, you can grow any lettuce variety from seed. Take a look at the seed packets your local garden center has available year round, or order them online. Pay attention to germination time (and temperature), and how long it will take your lettuce to grow to maturity.
It is also helpful to know if you can continually harvest your lettuce varieties or if you should let it grow to maturity, harvest, and then replant. Start with something that’s easy to grow and take care of, then branch out from there.
A Salad Bowl Garden is a satisfying way for you to grow your own lettuce or microgreens in a container garden indoors or on a deck, porch or patio. Growing your own salad greens is much easier than you may have originally thought so give it a try and let me know how it goes for you.
Once you see those first few harvests and get a chance to eat your own salad, you’ll be ready to expand your lettuce bowl collection.
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