Square Foot Garden Salad
Between the Surgeon General, the USDA, your fifth grade teacher and
your mother, youre sure to have got the message by now
green leafy vegetables and fresh salads are GOOD for you. You can
make them even better by turning your garden salad on its head and
creating your own salad garden. Once youve eaten a salad made
with fresh greens, tomatoes and vegetables minutes away from the
earth, youll never be satisfied with a salad bar again.
Building a Square Foot Garden
You dont need much room to grow a salad garden. In fact, salad
gardens are perfect for the Square Foot gardening technique first
developed and popularized by Mel Bartholomew about 10 years ago.
A square foot garden can comfortably live just outside your kitchen
door, or on your back patio, as long as it gets plenty of sun and water.
The Square Foot Garden Theory
The idea behind square foot gardening is to maximize growing space by
subdividing a garden plot into one foot squares, and replanting them
as soon as you finish harvesting the crop from the last plant. This
keeps the soil in use, and by paying attention to which crops you
grow in which square, you avoid depleting the soil of important nutrients.
Help Us Help Animals
Using GoodSearch for
Creek Wildlife Center
Creek Wildlife Center is a licensed wildlife rehabilitation center
that treats injured and orphaned wildlife and releases them back into
time you search the internet, they receive 1 - 2 cents.
free to use and you receive great Yahoo search results.
BookMark the link:
A Square Foot Salad Garden
Start by building a four foot by four foot raised bed for your
plants. Place it where it gets southern light so that theres as
much sun as possible throughout the day. If youre gardening
directly on the ground, all youll really need is a 4x4 foot
wooden frame, though you certainly can get decorative with rock walls
and other methods of building raised beds.
Fill with high quality soil mix enriched with a nitrogen-rich
fertilizer or use good organic compost, depending on your own
beliefs in gardening. I personally recommend composting as both less
expensive and healthier.
If you choose to start your plants from seed directly in the bed,
plant immediately after the danger of frost is past. In northern
states, this really isnt as feasible the growing season
will be far too short. Start plants indoors about four to six weeks
before the last frost is expected, and transplant outside after the
Divide the bed into one foot squares youll have
sixteen of them. Each square can support one of the following:
1 tomato plant
4 lettuce plants (plant several varieties)
6 onion sets
6 garlic sets
6 chive sets
2 cucumber plants
4 marigold plants
16 carrot plants
4 herb plants
4 nasturtium plants
4 mini cabbages (Cole slaw anyone?)
Plant tomato plants and other taller plants toward the back of the
bed, with shorter plants progressively planted toward the front. Keep
well-watered throughout germination/growing season.
You can begin harvesting lettuce and greens as soon as they have 8-10
leaves pick just enough for a salad, making sure to leave at
least three leaves on the plant for them to regenerate. By harvesting
leaves instead of entire heads, youll get to eat the greens far
sooner, and prolong their growing season for weeks. Harvest tomatoes
and cucumbers as they ripen, being careful not to let them go to seed
too early to extend the growing season. Marigolds and nasturtiums are
both delicious in salads, but they serve the additional purpose of
helping to keep your garden pest free. Harvest the flower heads
frequently once they start opening to keep the plants blooming.
As plants go to seed, clean out their square and replant with a
different variety to cycle the nutrients in the soil. Dig in compost
when you replant, but otherwise, your salad garden should need little
care other than regular watering and harvesting.
And do harvest often the more you harvest, the more
theyll produce. Bon appetit!