4 Tips for a Beautiful Salad Garden
by Nicole Burke, Owner of Rooted Garden & Gardenary
If you’re going to the trouble to plant a salad garden, you might as well make it beautiful, right?
Why? I can think of at least two reasons.
ONE- you’re going to be out there a lot, picking all of that delicious lettuce. And hanging out on the regular in a beautiful garden is pretty much #goals
With my company, Rooted Garden, we work hard to create the most beautiful kitchen gardens ever. We’re trying to kill that idea that vegetable gardens are meant to be hidden away somewhere behind the garage. And our gardens honestly look their best when they’re packed with loads of salad greens.
So, let’s be sure your organic salad garden looks as good as a Rooted Garden one is absolutely picture perfect for those little squares on the Gram.
Here are 4 tips to create the most beautiful salad garden ever.
BUILD A RAISED GARDEN
Salad plants have tiny little root systems and have a difficult time pushing down into hard clay or rocky soil that’s likely native to your area. And when salad plants are growing right at ground level, snails and slugs and other pests don’t have to work too hard to reach them which equals loads of holes and disease for your plants which also equals ‘not beautiful.’
With a raised bed (at least 6” if not 12” deep), your salad plants will thank you with healthy roots and healthy leaves and of course, the bed itself can be quite the looker.
USE AWESOME SOIL
You know that saying, ‘You are what you eat?’
Well the same goes for your salad plants. In the same way that our bodies really show off when we’ve eaten a load of fresh vegetables and fruit, your lettuce plants almost glow when planted in soil that’s rich with vitamins and minerals.
So, fill your bed with sandy loam soil and be sure not to use a drop of synthetic fertilizer or pesticides. Feed your salad plants well and they’ll feed you back, in the most beautiful way.
MAKE A PLANTING PLAN
If you want your salad garden to be a looker, you’re going to have to slow down before planting and plan it out. Think about colors and growth habits and timing. I love to put big salad plants down the center or in long rows and then situate more colorful and small plants along the borders.
You do it your way but be sure there’s some pattern to the plan. A little repetition and form will make your salad garden look like it was planted by the pros (you know, the way Rooted Garden does it).
TEND YOUR PLANTS
Once you’ve done all the hard work to set up such a beautiful salad garden, don’t neglect it! Salad plants grow quickly and can change overnight. So weekly, if not daily, tending is a must.
So don’t just sit there, go check on your salad plant!
Check Moisture (not too wet or dry)
Check for Pests (holes in leaves are a definite sign)
Check for Disease (leaves turning color or changing shape is a clue)
Truthfully, if you’re tending your salad garden regularly, the chances of any major issue is slim to none. And because salad grows so quickly in the garden, you should be out there tending anyway…because you’re harvesting dinner!
Salad gardens really are one of the most beautiful forms of a kitchen garden. The plants are more compact and tidy, the colors range from deep purples and reds to bright greens. And the plants are so prolific that you can harvest loads and the gardens still appear to be overflowing.
So, let’s pretty up that salad garden this season. Use these tips and you’re well on your way.
Want to know all the details about growing a salad garden?
You’ll find every single thing you need to know in my online course Salad School. After setting up so many gardens for our Rooted Garden clients, I’ve learned so much and I share it all in my SALAD SCHOOL COURSE. You’ll learn the step by step to setting up your raised bed garden, filling it with the best mixed soil, creating the most Instagram-able planting plans, and tending the salad garden season after season.
So come join me and please share your beautiful salad garden on the ‘Gram with me using the hashtag #saladschool. I can’t wait to see what you grow.