Crisp, fresh lettuces and salad greens straight from the garden can’t be beat.
Here at Sanctuary Soil, we’re always growing different fresh greens during the cooler months of spring and fall. These leafy green vegetables are easy to plant in containers like our Hula Planters (shown here) or straight in the garden. Following are a few tips for growing lettuces and salad greens.
Lettuces and salad greens thrive in a full sun to partial shade location. As soon as the soil can be worked in early-spring, direct sow seeds directly into containers or garden beds. You can plant lettuces in orderly rows or broadcast seeds evenly over the entire growing space.
Lettuce transplants can be found at your local garden center, but the variety won’t be as large as with seeds. Plus, you’ll get a lot more lettuce plants from seeds for the same price as transplants.
These leafy greens prefer rich, moist soil that drains well. In containers, we recommend a high-quality soil like Empire Builder. In garden beds, take the time to amend the soil well with worm castings such as Buckaroo.
Lettuces and salad greens grow best with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You may want to use a foliar spray such as fish emulsion during the growing season.
Keep your soil moist, especially as the seeds are germinating. When temperatures start to climb, give your lettuces a little shade. Lettuces and salad greens can grow in as little as three to four hours of direct sun, and particularly like morning sun and afternoon shade.
Many lettuces and mesclun mixes are “cut and come again.” You can cut the leaves an inch or two from the ground, and they will re-grow and come again a few more times.
Once you taste homegrown lettuce, you’ll find it hard to go back to store bought lettuce. Consider yourself warned!
What are your favorite lettuces and salad greens to grow in the garden?