Posted by Oliver Gardner on February 29, 2016
I have found the three top planters on My Garden Post to be enough garden space to grow all the salad greens a family of four will eat from late spring and on to the fall. I include a small tossed salad with most every meal I prepare and I want them to have three characteristics. Taste is important. I also like a variety of textures and the salad has to look good in the bowl and on the plate. Growing the right varieties and harvesting them at the right time are my primary concerns.
Choose the Right Seed
Large seed companies will toss your salad right in the seed packet with a choice of several seed mixes. Most blended seed packets contain 3-5 classic lettuce chosen for their rich flavors, textures and colors. One seed pack is likely to have 500 – 1,000 seeds. That’s more than enough to seed all three My Garden Post planters and have some left over for secession plantings. Spend some time with your favorite seed catalog and choose a blend that includes many of your favorite gourmet lettuces. Expect your investment to be $5+-.
Planting and Growing Your Tossed Salad
Choose a light container soil mix that drains well. Each of the MGP planters has two drain holes so there is no need to worry about drowning your plants. It might be helpful for you to know, a 20 qt. bag of potting soil will fill all 5 planters on a My Garden Post. It’s best to over-seed each planter. You can always thin your seedlings, if you find them overcrowded. Soon after your seeds germinate, fertilize each planter on a weekly schedule with a plant food of your choice. Organic gardeners will find fish emulsion to do a good job. My Garden Post comes with a fully automated programmable drip irrigation system. It remembers to water your garden so you don’t have to.
How and when you harvest can affect the texture, taste and color of your tossed salad. Here’s how; a lettuce mix harvested at 2”-3” will have different characteristics than those harvested when they reach 4”-6”. With three planters growing tossed salads at the same time, you will be able to experiment and find the texture, taste and colors you enjoy the most. Equally important is the yield. Consistent timely harvests will keep you planters producing for several weeks.
Remember that you have seeds left over from your first planting. You can plant again in late summer to start the process all over again.