G is for Gardening: Grow Your Own Salad Bowl
My mom is a gardener at heart. She loves plants and flowers of all kinds and really has a green thumb. You should see her amazing gardens! Several years ago I purchased a pre-made container garden for my mom for Mother’s Day. It was filled with a gorgeous variety of lettuce, herbs and a strawberry plant and was labeled as a “salad bowl”. How clever, I thought! The gift was a huge hit. She enjoyed growing and harvesting her plants and that homegrown lettuce was a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches. The greens were so tender and flavorful. We have been planting our own salad bowl each spring ever since and continue to savor having our own fresh lettuce. Interested in growing your own salad bowl? Here is how to do it:
Container with drainage
Good quality potting soil
4-6 lettuce plants, any variety
1-2 strawberry plants
1-2 herb plants of your choice
Select your container. The original salad bowl I bought was planted in a simple round white pot, similar to what you might buy for a hanging basket. You can plant your greens in any container you fancy. Just make sure it has good drainage. I couldn’t find the right sized round container in my gardening stash this year, so I used this rectangular terracotta planter. I also have lettuce growing out of a medium sized white watering can this year. Be creative and make sure to allow for ample room for your plants to grow.
Fill your container with good quality potting soil. I used Miracle Grow brand potting soil that has fertilizer mixed right it, but use whatever you are most comfortable with. Plant your container following the instructions for spacing that come with your lettuces. I placed my strawberry plant in the middle of the container. It was a decent sized plant so I decided one was enough. On each side of the strawberry plant, I planted one romaine lettuce plant and one fancy spring lettuce plant. I finished by tucking two small flat leaf parsley plants in as well. And there you have it – a finished salad bowl container garden.
Make sure your planter gets adequate sunlight and be sure to keep it watered. Consult the plant tags for recommended sun exposure. Harvest your greens as you need them and they will continue to grow. My preschooler picked our first strawberry last week and ate it right off the vine. So tasty!
I hope you will consider growing your own salad bowl container this year. The plants are inexpensive to purchase and you can just look around your home for a creative container to plant it in. You will not be sorry when you taste that tender, fresh lettuce right from your deck or patio. These planters make a great gift as well. Can you think of someone in your life who might enjoy one? I bet you can. Happy gardening, my friends!
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