Grow your own salad

Grow your own salad

For people with limited outdoor space, growing vegetables in containers may be the only way to go. Grow your own salad is a great way to start. The nice thing about lettuce is most varieties doesn’t need a lot of space or soil to grow. They grow fairly fast and you can do it inside, on your kitchen counter or on a sunny window ledge.

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One of the simplest ways to start is to cut the ends of your romaine lettuce from the store and set 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.

Salad Bowls

Another option is to get lettuce seedlings at your local home and garden center. 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.

Lettuce plants don’t have very deep roots, which is why shallow bowls work perfectly for planting them indoors. And since it won’t get super-hot – even in a sunny window- you don’t need a large amount of soil to retain moisture. In other words, shallow bowls are a great way to grow a large amount of lettuce in little space or soil.

Glass bowls don’t work as well since it’s impossible to add drainage holes in the bottom. Your wooden bowls should work well though as do ceramic planter bowls or even pots you’re no longer using for potted plants.

The basic idea is simple. You get a bowl or pot, fill it with potting soil, and plant your salad and salad fixings. A salad or lettuce bowl can include several different varieties of lettuce and even a few of your favorite herbs.

Salad bowls are also an excellent tool to help teach your children about where our food comes from and how it is grown. Get the little ones involved in planting and caring for the lettuce plants. Not only is it a great learning experience, but it’s also a wonderful way to get them to eat more greens. After all, they’ve grown this lettuce.

To get started with your first salad bowl

Ready to start planting your first salad bowl? You’ll be surprised how easy this will be to put together. There are only a handful of things you need to get started.

  • A Container or Bowl
  • Soil
  • Seeds or Seedlings
  • Water

That’s it. Start by looking around the house for a container to plant your lettuce in. This can be a flow pot you no longer use, or even a plastic bowl that you can drill drainage holes in. Don’t use a bowl without holes, because you’ll risk having the soil stay too moist and the roots will end up rotting. Drainage is important.

If you can’t find anything suitable around the house, or you want a pretty container to sit on the kitchen counter, head to your local home improvement store or garden center and get a shallow bowl planter. A shallow bowl with drainage holes and a catch plate works best for this little planting project.

A few classic options

Pick up a bag of good potting soil as well. You won’t need a large bag but look for quality soil that’s suitable for growing vegetable. A potting soil mix with a slow release fertilizer added will give you the best results.

Seeds or Seedlings

You also need to decide if you want to grow your lettuce from seed, or plant seedlings. Seedlings are often the best choice for your first salad bowl. They are easier to grow for a beginner and of course you get to harvest that much sooner.

Have a look through your local garden center, or even your farmers market and find a few different varieties of lettuce that you want to grow. Mixing colors makes for a pretty planter and don’t forget that you can add some herbs as well for variety.

Once you get all your shopping goodies home, the fun starts. Fill your bowl with potting soil. Play with your plant seedlings before you take them out of their containers to determine how you want to arrange them in the bowl. With that figured out, it’s time to dig holes and start planting. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. They are the perfect gardening tool. Of course using a small shovel or a large spoon is also an option.

Take the seedlings out of the containers, gently tease the roots apart a little around the edges and plant them. Gently water your planting bowl to allow the soil to settle and to help encourage root growth.

Don’t be alarmed if your seedlings start to droop a little after planting. They will quickly recover and it won’t take long before you can harvest your first salad.

Or buy a grow your own salad kit

More on Grow your own Salad bowl series

3 reasons to grow your salad

Things to grow in your salad bowl

Comments (36)

  • What a great idea! I did not know that you can grown your own salad – which makes me think to try it at home. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Yes, super easy to do as well as can be done from the leftover a romaine lettuce head. Talk about a great reclying. 🙂

      Karie
      Reply
  • Great idea! I grow my own herbs inside as well sometimes.

    Joanne
    Reply
    • I like growing herbs inside also it’s so nice and convenient to cut when cooking.

      Karie
      Reply
  • I never thought to use the bottom of a lettuce head to start your own! I’m going to try it!

    Reply
  • Great idea! It is amazing the things we can do to not only eat healthier but to know what kind of food we are eating!! Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply
  • I didn’t even know those little gardens existed! Neat!

    Reply
  • I’ve never had any luck with container gardening, but I want to keep trying. I pinned this for later. Thanks!

    Beth
    Reply
  • I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • That is so cool! I’d just have to find a way to keep my cats from trying to explore the growing plants!

    • Haha yes, we had to keep our dog away for sure.

      Karie
      Reply
  • i love this idea. we’re growing herbs this year in our front planter. Our youngest is enjoying it. All kids should grow something dont’ you think?

    Reply
    • Yes, I think it’s a fabulous idea for kids to grow something especially if they can eat it as well. 🙂

      Karie
      Reply
  • I think the squirrels in my hood would love a salad – haha! If only they would share…

    Angela
    Reply
    • Haha!

      Karie
      Reply
  • Nothing like fresh herbs!!! I love growing my own veggies! I have a AeroGarden, but it was pulling too much electricity. When I stopped using it, my electric bill went down. That was in Maryland. I need to get it out and try it again here in Florida … to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I loved that thing!

    Reply
    • I have always wanted to try the Aero Garden and I had wondered about the electricity. You will have to update me on how it affects your electricity in another state. 🙂

      Karie
      Reply
  • What a great idea! We grew cabbage this year but next year we may have to try this instead!

    Reply
  • I really have a terrible time with plants but this might help, ha, ha!

    Reply
  • I always attempt to grow my own salad but get overtaken by pests or too much heat and rain. These are great tips! I am going to revisit this in the fall when it cools off.

    Reply
  • That is a great idea! Will the leaves keep regrowing? Just wondering because my kids eat ALOT!

    • Ya at least 3-4 times.

      Karie
      Reply
  • Love to see all the alternative methods for growing your own food. A topic near & dear to my heart!

    Reply
  • Great idea! I’m currently growing some mint and thyme but maybe next year I can try this. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Mint always smells so good.

      Karie
      Reply
  • What a great & easy way to start as your own little garden! I love it!

  • What a fun idea—especially for those with kiddos!

    Reply
  • We love our fresh salad greens! Great tips!

    Reply
  • wow this is very interesting. my grandma used to grow her own food. I’m now kinda curious too ‘cuz all of the benefits of knowing where your food is coming from and that it is all natural and organic. thank you for this guide

    Reply
  • I even like the name ‘salad bowl’ It has a double meaning when you are growing your salad in a bowl. 🙂 Good job.

    Reply
  • I love that there’s a kit! I have a brown thumb and everything dies. This looks like something fun to try, though!

    Reply
  • I had no idea you could do this with the leftover head of lettuce! Learn something new everyday right?

    Reply
  • I grow a lot of veggies and herbs. And yet I don’t think I’ve ever grown lettuce. Kale yes, but not lettuce. I’ll have to remedy that.

    Reply
  • This is a cool idea! I must try some indoor planting and this is a great starter for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Lina
    Reply
  • YUM! WE love growing salad bowls! 🙂

    Reply
  • What a fun idea! It has been a long time since we had a garden, but we are working on getting back in to it. I think this would be a great start, and I know my granddaughter would love it.

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