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A Salad Bar in Your Backyard


A fresh salad is one of the best ways to get your veggies and greens. Salads are great for lunch or dinner, as a side, or as a main course. If you are a big salad eater, or you hope to be better about eating your veggies, consider devoting a corner of the garden to salad components. Creating a salad garden is also a great starting place for beginner gardeners and beginner chefs. There are plenty of salad vegetables and greens that you can plant that are easy to grow and largely problem free. And there is nothing intimidating about making a salad if your cooking skills are only beginning to emerge. You can make yourself or your family some tasty salads fresh from the backyard without pesticides, artificial fertilizers, or other chemicals.

Plan Your Space

Before you start buying plants or seeds, think about how much space you plant to devote to your salad garden. You can make a raised bed to house your veggies or plant them in containers on the back porch. Either way, plan out the number and types of plants you want to have and be sure you can fit them all in before you get started.

If you are working with a raised bed or a corner of the garden, expect to fit about five plants of greens and six to seven vegetable plants in a space that is four feet by four feet. With containers, you can get creative. Using pots, put one to two plants in each, depending upon size. Or, you can be more creative and try some unorthodox containers that you might have lying around. Grow a few greens in an old kids red wagon, a galvanized tub, or between the spokes of an old wagon wheel.

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What to Plant?

Your salad garden, no matter its size, should be devoted to items that you can eat fresh from the garden and put into raw salads. If you have a large garden in which you grow foods that are eaten fresh, but also put up for storing, your salad garden can be single purpose. It will be your go-to spot for fresh veggies, and you will not need to worry about raiding your stores. Grow lettuces and other greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and even herbs and edible flowers for your salads. Below are some plants you might consider using that are not always well known or obvious, but which are delicious and nutritious additions for your salad.