Grow the ingredients for a delicious salad right in your very own kitchen. The supplies are inexpensive, and the upkeep minimal. All you need is some seeds, dirt, a shallow circular pot (the bigger around, the better), and a light source.
Your kitchen garden need not look like a garden. With a little forethought, your planter will please the eye as well as the palate. The first things to consider are your greens. Spinach, lettuce, and kale all grow well in slightly shaded areas, and continue to produce even after harvest. This makes them ideal candidates for your indoor salad garden.
Plant your lettuce seeds in the center of the pot. Use leaf lettuce or romaine. Iceberg lettuce only produces one head and takes a longer time to develop. Evenly distribute about 10 seeds in a circular area of about 6”. Once the lettuce begins to grow, you may remove smaller plants first, and use them in your salad. This thins the bunch and allows the remaining plants to grow larger. As the remaining plants grow, cut leaves from the lettuce as needed, but don’t disturb the roots. The plant will continue to produce leaves until its growth cycle is complete.
Just outside the circle of lettuce, try planting a ring of spinach. Plant and harvest the spinach in the same way as the leaf lettuce.
Outside the spinach, plant a ring of assorted vegetables. Try placing a cherry tomato plant so that it drapes over the side. Carrots and radishes not only provide delicious roots to eat, but the tops are also edible and can be trimmed like spinach and lettuce as the plant grows; just don’t remove the entire top.
Once all of your seeds are in your planter, dampen the soil with a mister bottle. When the dirt is moist, but not saturated, cover the entire pot with plastic wrap. Poke a couple of holes in the plastic, so mold does not develop, and set the whole thing aside. Your seeds should start germinating in about five days.
As the seeds sprout, watch for crowding. Thin the plants as needed, and use the seedlings you remove as garnish on sandwiches or soups, or in a salad. As your other plants grow to maturity, harvest each day. At maturity, one pot can generate enough produce for one plate of salad several times a week.
If you prefer, you can also plant starts from your local garden center and enjoy your indoor salad even sooner. Try making pots of herbs to keep on hand for seasoning dishes or arrangements of plants, valued for their medical properties. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.