DIY: Grow Your Own Salad Bowl
Planting a salad bowl garden will produce greens and root veggies all through the fall and winter months without a lot of effort.
Bruce Solomon at Baker Nursery suggests starting with an 18-inch bowl-shaped container, with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill it with potting mix and saturate with water.
Then the fun begins.
Baker Nursery stocks a wide variety of veggie transplants through the fall, Phoenix’s best vegetable growing season. Solomon advises that leafy greens bring the most satisfaction to casual gardeners. Purchase about six to eight baby transplants: lettuces when it’s cooler (November to March) and spinach, Swiss chard or kale for warmer months. Leaf lettuces tend to be easier to grow than head lettuce.
Visit the nursery’s seed packet section and pick out seeds for baby carrots or baby beets and radishes, great root crops for container gardens. Back home, tuck your transplants into the moistened soil in your container, allowing each young plant room to grow. Follow directions on the seed packet for the depth to plant your root vegetable seeds, and deposit approximately two dozen seeds spaced in amongst your greens. Sow more seeds every two weeks for continuous crops. Water in with a gentle shower.
Pick up liquid organic fertilizer. Dilute per directions on the label and apply to your veggies every six weeks.
Children are great garden partners. Make a watering can by punching holes in a yogurt container. Put water in a bucket near the salad bowl garden. Pint-sized gardeners love scooping up water and showering it over the growing vegetables. Empty this bucket after use so mosquitoes don’t move in. Keep the garden moist but not soggy.
Don’t panic if bugs show up on your plants. A mix of 1 teaspoon of dish soap to 1 quart of water makes a handy spray that will kill 90% of common garden insects.
Plant your garden by October 1 and you’ll be harvesting greens within weeks and proudly adding homegrown carrots and radishes to your Thanksgiving feast.
SALAD BOWL GARDEN SUPPLY LIST
1 (18-inch) bowl-shaped container with drainage holes
1 (1½ cubic foot) bag of potting mix
Liquid organic fertilizer
6-8 leafy vegetable transplants
Seed packets of radishes, baby carrots or baby beets