How to Start a Fall Salad Garden
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Fall's cooler temperatures are perfect for growing salad greens. Whether harvesting lettuce as tender baby greens, or mature, leafy greens, plant now for salads later. Plant fast-growing radishes, another cool weather favorite, to grow alongside, and slice and serve in your salad.
Mixed greens and radishes are perfect for fall salads and will grow quickly. Choose from seeds or seedlings or a mixture of both for the greens. Radishes grow to maturity from seed in about 30 days. Read plant tags for days to germination and maturity for specific information.
Check the frost date calendar for the average date of first frost in your area.
Select a site that receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
How to sow lettuce seeds:
- Remove weeds from existing bed.
- Use a spading fork to mix in a balanced organic or time-release fertilizer. Follow directions for how much to use.
- Rake soil smooth. Make three parallel planting trenches, 6 inches apart and a half inch deep. Sprinkle the three types of seeds evenly into the three trenches, one inch apart.
- Cover seeds with 1/4-inch of soil. Pat soil firmly around the lettuce seeds only.
- Water lightly.
- Keep the bed weeded and watered.
- Gradually thin plants to 4 inches apart by pulling out the smallest ones. Thinning produces healthier plants and more produce.
- Extend your season by planting more seeds in three weeks.
Learn more about growing and harvesting lettuce.
Radishes are the perfect starter vegetable for young and newbie gardeners.
Check seed packets for fast-growiing varieties and remember that it's better to harvest a radish early rather than late. Older radishes become bitter and pithy.
Steps for sowing radishes:
- Remove any existing plant material and loosen the soil with a spading fork.
- Amend the soil with two inches of compost, composted manure or fertilizer as needed.
- Draw a garden trowel lightly along the prepared soil to create a slight indention. Sow your seeds.
- Water thoroughly and keep soil moist, especially as new seeds germinate.
- Thin out seedlings when they grow to one inch tall, according to seed packet instructions.
- For a continuous garden, sow a new row of seeds every two weeks.
Whether you need the right planters, seeds or potting soil, The Home Depot delivers online orders when and where you need them.