How to Grow Your Own Salad Garden

Life's too short for basic salads. You can grow an epic rainbow diversity of fresh greens in as little as 30 days! Former organic farmer Logan Hailey digs into how you can grow the best garden-fresh salads you’ve ever tasted.

A sunlit salad garden showcases vibrant rows of assorted vegetable leaves, ranging from lush greens to deep purples, basking in the sunlight's glow. Among the verdant foliage, colorful flowers bloom.


Life is too short for bland salads. The world of salad is far more diverse, exciting, and healthful than basic iceberg lettuce with vinaigrette. But finding tasty, sustainable greens can be difficult.

If you’re tired of overpriced plastic bins of lettuce from the supermarket, growing your own salad garden is remarkably simple and affordable. You can enjoy an ever-changing blend of garden-fresh greens almost year-round, depending on your climate.

DIY salad gardening opens the door to seasonal greens medleys you’ve probably never considered before. From an incredible diversity of lettuces, tender spinach, peppery arugula, spicy mustards to rainbow chard, baby kale, vibrant radicchio, and eccentric raw greens, a nutritious blend of homegrown salad mix puts store-bought greens to shame. 

Let’s dig into the simple steps to planting and harvesting the best salads you have ever grown or tasted!

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How Do You Grow a Salad Garden?

A close-up reveals fresh lettuce leaves nestled in rich, dark soil, basking in the warm sunlight's glow. In the background, a green trowel rests, partially buried in the earth.
Cultivating salad greens involves preparing a well-drained garden bed.

Growing your own salad greens is as simple as preparing a well-drained garden bed in partial sun, choosing a blend of seeds (such as mesclun mix or a medley of lettuce varieties), shallowly sowing the seeds, watering them, waiting 20-30 days, and harvesting at the right time.

The best time to grow salad is during the cooler weather of spring or fall. To enjoy fresh salads through hot summers, choose bolt-resistant varieties and strategically plant in partially shaded areas. 

Quick-growing baby greens only take 3-5 weeks to mature, and they can be cut several times for a continual supply. Succession sowing greens every 2-3 weeks ensures nonstop garden salads for the entire season.

There are three main secrets to an incredible backyard salad garden:

  1. Diversity: Grow 5+ seed varieties for unique flavors, textures, colors, and plant types.
  2. Seasonal successions: Sow lettuce and other greens every 2-3 weeks for a continuous supply.
  3. Cut-and-come-again harvests: Cut outer leaves and leave growing tips intact so you can harvest the regrowth of a salad crop several times

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12 Steps to Grow Amazing Salads in Your Garden

In all my years of organic farming, salad mixes were the most popular and profitable crop at farmer’s markets and local restaurants. When I worked at Hayshaker Farm in southern Washington, we grew an amazing blend of over 20 different greens that we called “Wild & Fancy Salad Mix.” Gourmet chefs went crazy for it! The exact recipe changed with seasonal plantings, but it was always loaded with many varieties of crisp and sweet lettuces, spicy mustards, lightly bitter chicories, edible flowers, and hints of herbs. When served in a bowl with a simple dressing, the mix offered a delightful medley of textures, colors, and flavors.  

We would grow long rows of each plant in a single bed for maximum biodiversity. Harvesting was as simple as grabbing a handful, cutting at the base, and tossing the greens in a bin to mix together.

Leaving the plant growing tips in place (rather than uprooting or harvesting the whole plant) ensured we could come back the following week and get another harvest from the same crop. This “cut and come again” harvest style is a well-kept gardener’s secret to a low-maintenance, continuous salad garden supply. As a bonus, it keeps your greens very clean so minimal washing is needed.

While you can certainly grow head lettuce and chop it up into pieces, the “wild and fancy” method is one of the best ways to maximize your harvests and enjoy a dazzling diversity of salads throughout the season. Here are the 12 steps to growing a delicious salad garden for a continuous supply of greens.

Pick Your Greens

The term salad encompasses a massive medley of potential combinations of fresh produce and dressings. From coleslaw to fruit salad to pasta salad to chicken salad, you can see how expansive this category can be. While you can certainly grow ingredients for these types of salads, we’ll focus here on leafy green-based salads.

Types of Leafy Green Blends

In a fertile bed of dark soil, rows of leafy vegetables thrive, each leaf stretching toward the nourishing sunlight above. The dense earth cradles the diverse array of greens, promising a bountiful harvest that whispers of nature's abundant embrace.
Caesar salads feature romaine with croutons and a heavier dressing.

Many store-bought mixed greens include basic blends of lettuce, spinach, and arugula. These are designed to be consumed raw with a light dressing. Cesar salads are solely romaine with croutons and creamy, heavier dressing, while Greek salads typically include lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and olives. 

Mesclun mix traditionally includes chervil, watercress, endive, and leafy lettuces. Spicier blends may incorporate more mustard greens and arugula. A milder spring mix can incorporate young red lettuce, oak-leaf lettuce, baby spinach, mizuna, baby Swiss chard, sorrel, tatsoi, and even dandelion greens.

Pre-Mixed Seed Packets vs. DIY Blends

Beds of delicate baby lettuce greens with green and brown hues create a lush, natural tapestry.
Creating a personalized salad garden involves selecting a variety of greens.

Making your own salad garden inevitably involves designing your own mix of your favorite greens. Seeds can be purchased in premixed packets with multiple varieties that are ready to be broadcasted. Alternatively, you can buy each desired cultivar individually and sow clusters or rows of a single species so you can switch up your salad blend with each harvest.

Some of my favorite pre-blended salad mixes include:

While blends are a cheap and easy way to start out, a true salad connoisseur won’t be satisfied with a pre-made blend. Once you know exactly what you prefer, it’s much more fun to create your own salads that perfectly suit your climate and taste buds.

Buying several seed packets can provide you with enough seeds for one to two seasons of sowing. You can mix them together before planting, but I prefer to plant them in separate rows within the same bed so I can change the ratios of my mix as desired.

Salad Garden Seeds

Lush green seedlings of leafy vegetables flourish in nutrient-rich soil, their tender leaves unfurling gracefully under soft light. The black seed tray provides a contrast, cradling the verdant promise of growth in its deep embrace.
Combine the occasional baby chard leaf with other baby greens for enhanced taste.

Lettuce is the most common salad ingredient, but the plant world offers so many more mildly-flavored greens for raw eating. While you may not prefer a big plate of just raw chard with dressing, consider how great the occasional baby chard leaf would taste when mixed with five to ten other baby greens.

Classic ingredient seed options include:

These unique and unusual salad green ingredients add a fun flair to basic blends:

  • Mache (corn salad)
  • Watercress
  • Endive
  • ‘Dazzling Blue’ kale (best grown as baby leaf for raw eating)
  • Radicchio
  • Tatsoi
  • Dandelion greens
  • Collard greens (young)
  • Swiss chard (young)
  • ‘Rosette’ tatsoi

No matter what seeds you choose, be sure to keep the packets in a cool, dry place until it’s time to plant.

Consider Edible Flowers and Herbs for Companion Planting and Flavor

A purple Petra basil plant stands proudly, its leaves reaching toward the warm sunlight.
Incorporating edible flowers and herbs into your salad garden enhances crop growth.

While you’re shopping for salad garden seeds, consider incorporating floral and herbal accents to your beds. Some of the best salads I’ve ever tasted had unexpected flares of peppery nasturtium blossoms or a fragrant bite of anise hyssop. 

Adding these edible aromatic accents to your salad garden can also enhance the growth of your main crops. Many edible flowers and herbs also serve as excellent companion plants. Their strong aromas repel pests from your greens, and their flowers attract beneficial predatory insects that keep annoying aphids and thrips under control.

These varieties are lovely to have in the garden and in your salad bowl:

Do not mix your flower and herb seeds in with your greens. Instead, sow these plants separately so you can ensure proper spacing distance from the salad mix. For example, in a medium-sized raised bed, I might use a four corners strategy for these companion plants. I could grow a calendula plant in one corner and basil, cilantro, and bachelor’s buttons in the other corners. In the center of the bed, I would densely direct sow my salad seed blends. 

Herbaceous perennials like hyssop and large annuals like borage are best planted in border beds away from your leafy greens. 

Plant in the Right Season

A gardener carefully transfers young green vegetable seedlings from a sleek black container, fostering new growth in the garden. Nearby, leafy vegetables thrive, soaking up the nourishing sunlight and moisture.
Choosing heat-tolerant salad varieties is essential for successful summer greens.

Most salad ingredients, including lettuce, kale, chard, and mâche, thrive in the cooler weather of spring and fall. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a refreshing salad in the heat of summer! In fact, that’s often when we crave them the most. The key to successful summer greens is choosing bolt-resistant, heat-tolerant varieties and providing enough partial shade to protect them from the harsh afternoon sun. 

Bolting is a major problem with lettuce because the leaves turn very bitter. This occurs when the days lengthen, and the plants become heat-stressed or water-stressed. A lettuce plant will prematurely go to seed by slowly elongating upward in a conical shape and eventually sending up a central flower stalk.

Kale, mustards, tatsoi, and other brassicas are also prone to bolting in the summer. Arugula and mustard greens get extra spicy in the heat and are sometimes avoided in summer plantings.

Ultimately, this means that the type of salad greens you grow and the location you plant them might change throughout the season. For example:

  • Early spring (1-2 weeks before last frost date): Plant chill-loving spring lettuce, spinach, kale, and mustards in full sun
  • Late spring and early summer: Switch to afternoon-shaded beds and increase watering
  • Mid and late summer: Sow greens in partial shade and provide extra water; incorporate bolt-tolerant greens like rainbow chard, malabar spinach, purslane, and collards
  • Autumn (3-4 weeks before first frost): Sow more cold-tolerant greens like arugula, mustards, ‘Red Russian’ kale, endive, and radicchio
  • Winter: Grow cold-hardy greens like mache (corn salad), winter lettuces, spinach, and claytonia

Changing seasonal salad blends keeps your meals exciting and full of flavor. If you want to keep things simple, you can select just a few lettuces and grow them in areas with more sun during the spring and fall, then switch to partially shaded areas in the summer. I especially love growing summer lettuce as a companion plant under the canopy of trellised tomatoes. 

The seasonal preferences of salad greens also determine how often you should plant them. A salad garden is not something you just plant once and harvest all year. Instead, you can sow seeds many times throughout the season, providing a continuous supply of fresh, tender baby greens. We will cover more on succession planting below.

Choose a Partially Shaded Area

Green lettuces flourish in a well-tended garden bed, basking in the warm embrace of sunlight. In the background, a medley of vegetables blurs into a mosaic of colors, hinting at the abundance of nature's bounty in the garden.
Lettuces prefer 6 to 8 hours of sunlight in spring.

Save your full-sun, south-facing beds for tomatoes and peppers! A salad garden is better adapted to east or west-facing and partially shaded areas of your yard. In the spring, lettuces grow best in full sun with 6 to 8 hours of light.

In the summer, lettuces particularly enjoy afternoon shade to protect them from sun-scalding and wilting. However, sunshine is still a necessity for crisp, refreshing salads. Most greens need a minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight.

Since most baby greens are low-growing, they are easy to interplant under the canopy of larger plants. For example, a row of lettuce does well along the margins of a trellised cucumber bed. Just be sure they have at least 6-8” of space from the base of the bigger plant because you don’t want the lettuces to get completely shaded.

Prepare Well-Drained Soil

A hand gently pours nutrient-rich vermicomposting onto a vegetable seedling. The seedling flourishes in the rich, brown soil, benefiting from the nourishing organic matter provided by the composting process.
Salad greens require well-drained soil that retains moisture moderately.

Loamy, compost-rich, well-drained soil is vital for happy salad greens. It’s important that the soil holds onto a moderate amount of moisture without getting soggy or waterlogged. If your garden has heavy clay soil, it’s best to amend with an aerating material before sowing your salad seeds. 

Great drainage-enhancers include:

  • Compost
  • Vermicompost
  • Peat moss (pre-wet)
  • Coco coir (pre-wet)
  • Vermiculite
  • Perlite
  • Potting soil

Mix in the amendments using a shovel, garden fork, or a broad fork. I prefer a broad fork because it loosens lower soil layers and adds lots of aeration for beneficial soil microbes to thrive in. Broad forking creates channels for air, water, and nutrients to flow into the soil below. Even though salad crops often have shallow roots, the bed will be enhanced for many future plantings.

If growing your salad garden in containers, choose pots at least 8-12” deep. A windowsill or patio railing planter works great. You can also use terra cotta pots, gallon nursery pots, or a Greenstalk Vertical Planter. Just be sure there is a large drainage hole where water can exit the pot. The same amendment and spacing principles apply, but you will likely need to spread out your plantings across several containers. For example, in a Greenstalk, you may plant just 1 to 2 lettuce seeds per pocket rather than scattering a dense amount of salad mix seeds.

I typically avoid manure-based amendments in salad containers and beds because the fresh greens are eaten raw. You don’t want to risk any sort of contamination on your lettuce!

Choose Direct Sowing vs. Transplanting

A gardener wearing a plaid shirt carefully plants a young lettuce amidst a lush garden. Nearby, several other lettuces thrive, while behind them stand leafy vegetables flourishing within black and brown containers.
Growing salad directly from seeds in the ground is the easiest method.

The easiest and quickest way to grow salad is to directly sow the seeds in the ground. Transplanting is also possible, but it requires extra effort that I don’t think is necessary. Most salad mixes are grown to an immature stage, hence the nickname “baby greens.” 

Unlike head lettuce or a full-size chard plant, you don’t need to grow a 6-pack of seedlings to transplant. It’s much easier to broadcast seed salad ingredients in rows or clusters. This produces lots of baby greens at a close spacing (but not too close), so you can grab handfuls and cut them with scissors when it’s time to harvest.

If you prefer to cut larger outer leaves or harvest whole heads of lettuce for your salads, transplanting is a better option.

Should I Direct Seed or Transplant My Salad Garden? (Chart)

If you’re unsure about direct sowing vs transplanting your salad crops, use this chart to decide what works best for you:

Direct Sow Salad Ingredients for… Transplant Salad for…
Baby greens blends Whole heads of lettuce
Tender, smaller leaves Larger leaves
Small-space and container plantings Larger-space gardens
Quicker growth (20-30 days to maturity) Moderate-length growth (40-50 days to maturity)
Cut-and-come-again harvests (regrowth) Single-head harvests
More diversity of greens species Greater amounts of a few species
Mesclun mix or spring mix Recipes that require large leaves, such as romaine salads, chop salads, and wedge salads

Sow Seeds at Proper Spacing and Depth

After amending, rake the soil surface flat and prepare to seed. No fancy tools are needed to grow salad, as sowing by hand is typically best. Seed spacing and depth are your most important considerations.

Determine Your Spacing

A close-up of lamb lettuce bathed in radiant sunlight, its delicate leaves glistening with dew. In the blurred background, a lush cluster of lamb lettuce extends, creating a verdant tapestry of greenery and freshness.
Dense sowing maintains tenderness, but overcrowding leads to stunted growth.

Most salad seed blends are designed to be broadcast sown. This means you scatter the seeds openly over a space so the greens can blanket the soil. You can also sow in bands or rows, as I described in the “wild and fancy” method.

  • If you have a pre-blended seed mix, broadcast scatter the seeds about ½” apart
  • For band-sowing of different varieties, sprinkle 4-6 seeds per inch in rows at least 2” apart

Because baby greens aren’t meant to reach full size, dense sowing is best to keep them small and tender. However, sowing too closely can be disastrous for your salad harvests. You don’t want a billion seeds in one place. Otherwise, the leaves won’t have enough room to reach a basic 4-6” tall. This also poses more issues for diseases and yellow, spindly growth.

Remember, you want baby leaf greens, not microgreens or sprouts! Ensure a minimum of ½” to 1” between seeds. If you accidentally drop a lot of seeds in a clump, you can always use small scissors to cut away extras after germination. Cut the extra seedlings right at the soil base and avoid yanking them out, as this could disturb the roots of those that you want to stay in place.

Sow Seeds Shallowly

Assorted seed packets neatly arranged on rich, dark soil, promising a vibrant array of plant life. Each seed aligns meticulously along the soil, hinting at the potential growth awaiting nurturing hands and warm sunlight.
Plant seeds shallowly to ensure adequate energy for germination.

Whether you direct sow or transplant, it’s important to plant seeds shallowly. You don’t want to bury the seeds too deeply, or they may not have enough energy to reach the soil surface. Lettuce seeds are particularly small and vulnerable to poor germination if they are planted too deeply

  • Plant lettuce seeds just ⅛” deep and lightly dust with soil. 
  • Other ingredients like endive and cress also have tiny seeds that should be sown about ¼” deep. 
  • Brassicas like kale and mustards can be sown a bit deeper, about ½” below the soil surface.

Gently press small seeds into the soil surface to prevent them from blowing or washing away. As a general rule of thumb, sow a seed at twice the depth of its largest dimension. 

Keep Soil Moist

Soaker hoses and drip lines are the best form of irrigation for salad crops. They deliver water directly to the base of the plant. This prevents any disease issues or soil splashback caused by overhead sprinklers. You can purchase plastic drip tape with closely spaced emitters, or for a more sustainable option, consider investing in copper irrigation piping to use permanently in your beds.

Turn your soakers or drip lines on immediately after seeding, and keep the seeds moist (but not soggy) for 5-10 days until they germinate. Don’t let the soil dry out. Alternatively, you can use a watering can to gently moisten the soil from the top. Do not blast salad beds or pots with a heavy stream of water from a hose; this will dislodge the shallowly sown seeds and mess up your spacing.

Maintain consistently moist soil throughout your salad growing season. To avoid overwatering, always stick your finger in the soil before irrigating. It should feel damp like a wrung-out sponge but never soggy or clumpy like brownie batter. If the soil is dusty or chalky, it is too dry and should be watered immediately. Water-stressed greens are more prone to bolting in hot weather.

Should I Mulch a Salad Garden?

Sunlight illuminates lettuce leaves, thriving amidst the mulched earth, promising a bountiful harvest. In the background, gleaming silver gardening tools stand ready, their green handles echoing the verdant hues of the flourishing plants they help nurture.
Sowing salad mixes densely without mulch is recommended to ease harvesting.

Salad mixes are usually sown densely to cover the soil surface. Mulch is not necessary. In fact, mulch can make harvesting more difficult and welcome pests like slugs. While most veggie crops benefit from mulch protection, I recommend against it in a salad garden.

Should I Fertilize a Salad Garden?

A pair of hands carefully distributes white granulated fertilizer around the base of a young tomato plant. The fine granules of fertilizer settle gently onto the soil, providing essential nutrients for the plant's development and vitality.
Salad greens like lettuce and baby greens typically require minimal fertilization.

Lettuce and baby greens are moderate to light feeders that can usually subsist on nutrients from compost or previous crops. There is generally no need to fertilize salad greens unless your soil is extremely depleted. In this case, opt for slow-release organic all-purpose fertilizers that will deliver small amounts of minerals over the season. Rich compost or worm castings are the best amendments for greens.

Protect Greens from Pests

Lettuces shielded from pests in glass jars placed upside down, forming a protective barrier. Sunlight gently bathes the vibrant green leaves, creating a picturesque scene among an assortment of assorted vegetables in a sunlit garden.
Cover seeds with floating row cover or other barrier to prevent major pest issues on crops.

Thanks to the diversity of species and quick turnaround, pests are not typically a major issue in salad gardens. However, it’s still helpful to be aware of any that might affect growth.

To prevent aphids, keep your greens well-watered and avoid fertilizing. Excess fertilizer can actually cause more risk of infestation from aphids because these sap-sucking pests feast on the nitrogen-rich plant parts and use the nutrients to fuel faster reproduction. Aphids also target stressed plants, which is why moisture management is important.

Flea beetles and thrips can be major issues in crops like arugula and mustard greens, particularly in early spring when bugs emerge. To prevent them, cover the seed with a thin layer of floating row cover as soon as you plant them. This will physically exclude the pests while simultaneously providing some extra warmth for early-season crops. The greens can grow under the row cover until it starts getting hot outside. Be sure to run your drip lines or soaker hoses underneath the fabric so water is delivered to the base of the plants.

In hot weather, shade cloth or insect netting can be useful for keeping salad greens protected from the harsh summer sun. Like row cover, they physically exclude flying pests from accessing the crop leaves. The key difference is that they don’t increase the temperature around the plants.

In the event of major infestations, you can use diluted neem oil or horticultural oil to kill off any aphids, flea beetles, or other bugs that are attacking your greens. However, these oils can alter the flavor of the leaves and sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth. After all, salad crops have a quick turnover rate and grow rapidly. I recommend removing infested plants, disposing of them, and replanting your next salad succession in a different area.

Cut-and-Come-Again Harvesting

Rows of leafy vegetables create a mesmerizing patchwork, showcasing a spectrum of lush greens and rich deep purples. The assortment includes a diverse array of leaf shapes and textures, promising a delightful mix of flavors and nutrients.
Salad greens can be harvested 20 to 30 days after seeding.

Baby green salad gardens reach a harvestable size about 20-30 days after seeding. Once your salad greens are 4-6 inches tall, it’s time to start cutting. The cut-and-come-again method is the most popular because it means you get several cuts off of the same planting. By leaving behind an inch or so of growth, the plants’ growing tips are spared so they can regrow after the harvest. In a week or two, you can return to the same bed and harvest baby greens again. You can often cut this regrowth 2-3 times, depending on conditions.

To practice cut-and-come-again harvesting:

  • Wait until the greens are 4-6 inches tall.
  • Grab a clean harvest container such as a bin or basket.
  • Use a sharp, sanitized knife or scissors. Serrated knives are helpful for small greens.
  • Grasp a handful of greens and cut them at the base, leaving at least 1” of growth at the soil surface.
  • Place the greens in your harvest container.
  • Repeat until you have enough greens for your salad.
  • Mix the ingredients together in the tote.
  • Dunk under cold water to rinse off any soil or residues.
  • Optionally, pat dry with towels or use a salad spinner to remove excess moisture
  • Add a delicious dressing and enjoy!
  • Continue watering the bed and return to the patch in 1-2 weeks for another harvest.
  • Be sure the lower 1-2” of plant growth is left in place so the growing meristems can regenerate.

If you spaced your greens wider for whole heads of lettuce and full-size mature plants, you can begin harvesting by collecting outer leaves at any time. Whether it’s lettuce, kale, chard, or mizuna, the center of the plant will continue growing as you harvest the outer leaves. 

Prepare for the Next Crop

Lettuce seedlings bask in warm sunlight, their delicate green leaves unfurling gracefully over the soil below. Each tiny shoot stretches upward, eagerly embracing the nourishing rays that promise growth and vitality in the burgeoning garden bed.
Transitioning from a depleted salad bed to a new crop is known as “bed flipping.”

When your salad bed has exhausted itself, it’s easy to remove the greens and prepare for the next crop. This process is nicknamed “bed flipping.” You can “flip” the salad crop into a new vegetable, such as summer tomatoes or autumn cabbages. A cool benefit of salad gardening is, the plants are shallow-rooted and easy to remove. They can also be reincorporated into the soil for quick decomposition.

Brown leaves, slow growth, and bolting are key indicators that it’s time to flip the bed. Choose one of these convenient ways to terminate your salad greens:

  • For raised beds, use scissors to cut all the remaining plants to the soil level. Spread 1-2” of compost and seed or transplant the next crop.
  • For containers, pull out the lettuce by the roots, shake off the soil, and fill back up with potting mix.
  • For in-ground beds, drive a small lawnmower over the lettuce. Then, add a 1-2” layer of compost on top and transplant the next crop.

As you can tell, these methods require little to no soil disturbance. No-till gardening helps promote the growth of the soil ecosystem for healthier future crops. Leaving the lettuce roots intact provides more aeration and food for soil microbes. You can even spread the wilted leaves over the surface and let them decompose. Alternatively, take the crop debris to your compost bin.

Practice Succession Sowing

A clear plastic container sits filled with dark, nutrient-rich soil, cradling tender lettuce seedlings reaching for the sunlight. Popsicle sticks, neatly buried within the earth, patiently await their purpose, bearing handwritten labels to guide and nurture the growing greenery.
Succession sowing allows for continuous harvesting of crops by staggering planting dates.

Once you master the art of salad gardening, you will crave a continuous supply of greens! Succession sowing is the art and science of staggering your planting dates so you can harvest several rounds of a crop throughout the season. At any given point, you may have:

  • Harvestable greens about 4-6” tall for enjoying now
  • Newly emerged salad seedlings that will be ready in 15-30 days
  • A freshly sowed bed of greens that will germinate in 5-10 days

This cycle of successive seeding means you never run out of garden-fresh salad ingredients! It’s much better to have a small planting of fresh greens incrementally throughout the summer, rather than a giant harvest all at once. Most of us prefer a small salad every day or a couple times a week, rather than one giant salad in the middle of summer.

Depending on your climate and salad consumption, I recommend seeding a new succession of salad every 2 to 3 weeks. Be sure to document your seeding dates and the amount of seeds you plant in your garden journal. This will help you track if you grew the right amount of greens for your family and how often you were able to harvest them. 

Remember that growth may slow in the coldest and hottest times of the year. Lettuce seeds are particularly vulnerable to stunted growth or lack of germination once soil temperatures are above 75°F (24°C).

Final Thoughts

Salad gardening provides a quick reward for the impatient gardener. The opportunity for unique ingredients and rainbow blends makes homegrown mixes far more exciting than their grocery store counterparts

Whether you purchase a pre-blended seed mix or plant a diversity of your favorite baby greens, remember to:

  • Prepare loamy, well-drained soil amended with compost
  • Broadcast sow seeds directly in the garden about ½” to 1” apart
  • Sow shallowly, about ⅛ to ¼” deep (depending on variety)
  • Provide consistent moisture, preferably with soaker hoses or drip lines
  • Grow salad in partial sun, ensuring afternoon shade in hot weather
  • Practice cut-and-come-again harvests by leaving the bottom 1” of each plant intact
A vibrant display of Nasturtium plants, featuring striking orange flowers with delicate petals. Surrounding the blossoms are lush green leaves, forming a harmonious contrast and adding to the overall beauty of the botanical composition.

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