My friend Michelle, spends almost all of her time helping in the community, working at her business, tending to family and home, inspiring others to be creative and helping out where ever she can on a moments notice. Despite this busy yet balanced lifestyle, she always finds time to create healthy home-made meals for her family.
One of the simplest ways to provide fresh salad greens for these meals was to create a mini-version of a raised bed garden right on her front porch. This easy to maintain and fast growing culinary garden is something you can create today!
Find yourself a clean planter or container that drains, fill it with rich well composted healthy soil and add lots of water. Then bring out some of your seeds from storage. Try mixing lettuce, green onion, and radish all in the same culinary garden. You may want to start a few other pots for kale, spinach and swiss chard. Most of these seeds will be planted on the surface with a light amount of soil to cover and pat down. Instructions are usually on the seed packages for each variety. Now you can water lightly with a mist bottle or light watering as to not wash away the seeds.
As we head into an early spring, you can set these cold season crops on your front step in direct sunshine as soon as planted. You may want to cover with clear plastic while the seeds germinate, creating a mini-greenhouse effect for the first week. The most delicate time for seedlings is when they begin to germinate. Be sure not to let them dry out for the first week or two as they emerge. Once the seeds have grown an inch or two, you can remove the plastic cover to harden off the seedings.
These types of crops can be harvested by cutting off the greens a few inches above the soil surface. New greens will grow from the established roots providing a non-stop supply of fresh salad greens. As we move into summer, you may want to reseed in the pot and place the container garden in a more shaded area for less bitter greens.
You may also want to try placing the root portion of green onions in a small glass on the window sill like my Aunt Vivian does. She is able to harvest fresh onion greens all winter with this method.
Enjoy an early spring, and start your garden as a simple, easy to manage container garden. If you want to expand your gardening skills, join us at Heritage Farm School to learn more.