Grow a Container Garden of Salad

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Grow a Container Garden of Salad

Growing your own salad ingredients is easy, even in the smallest garden space.

All it takes is a wide-mouth container like this terra bowl, some potting soil, and edible plant starts or seeds that will thrive in a contained root environment. Fortunately, today’s growers are tuned into container gardening and have developed many delicious, easy-to-grow goodies for your planted salad bowl pots. Selecting the right plants is the first step.

Thinning spinach with Fiskars Garden Multi-snip tool

Growing Spinach

One of the fastest bowls of greens to grow, even in cool spots with low light, is spinach. Although nurseries will offer spinach starts, spinach tends to grow best when sown directly where it will grow until harvested.

1. Fill your container with soil, water it well, and allow the water to drain.

2. Then sprinkle spinach seeds evenly and thickly over the top of the moist soil.

3. Add a thin layer of soil to cover the seeds.

4. Press lightly with the palm of your hand, and water everything again.

5. Keep your spinach salad bowl well watered, and within about a week sprouts should begin to appear. Within a few more weeks, you can begin harvesting baby spinach greens for your table.

Although spinach does grow well even in crowded situations, it is important to thin your harvest regularly to beat back disease and feed your family. Fiskars® Softouch Micro-Tip or Garden Multi-snip tools are perfect for clipping out every other little plant in your bowl for each harvest. After you harvest, your planter may look a little sparser, but within a few days the plants you have left behind will fill out, and a new plate of greens will be ready for you to cut again and again.

Pottery bowl planted with edibles plus ornamental flowers

Growing Vegetables Together

If mixed summer container plantings are more your style, try filling your pots with warm season veggies like ‘Astia’ zucchini, ‘Little Prince’ eggplant, ‘Super Bush’ tomato, or Persian cucumbers. Each of these is specialized to perform well in pots, but don’t crowd all of these into one small container or none will thrive.  These can be either grown from seed or from starts – it is your choice.

1. Pick a container large enough to fit all of the items you want to grow, referring to full size growth information, allowing enough room for everything to grow to full size without crowding each other out.

2. Choose one or two vegetables, and combine them with a few edible flowers like nasturtium.

3. Then pop in some herbs like basil or thyme for your vinaigrette.

4. Skip the root crops like carrot and beet; they can be container grown, but need deep pots all to themselves.

As your salad garden grows, your container will be filled with colorful flowers, fragrance, and lots of fun foods.

Growing Berries and Fruits in Pots

If growing a fruit salad is more your style, you can try growing fruits in pots as well.  These are easier to start from starts, rather than seed, however.  Look to your local garden center to help ensure you have the best ones for your particular climate.

1. Growing strawberries in a rectangular planter on a deck railing is one good way to get started.

2. When strawberry fruits hang high off the ground, slugs are less likely to slime them before you harvest.

3. Or fill a larger taper planter with raspberries, blueberries, or even dwarf fruit trees.

Shop carefully: some varieties of each perform better (or worse) than others in a contained environmen