June 24, 2013

Hanging Salad Garden


Last year, I began a quest to turn my black thumb into a green thumb, or at least an evergreen shade of black.

This would take some time. Time to earn the plants trust again, to prove the dead philodendron was a fluke of bad lighting or that it wasn't my fault that I forgot to water that peace lily for three weeks.

So far, my efforts at greenery whisperer have started to pay off. For the first time in my life, I gardened. I was the grower of my own food, and it was glorious!

Everything tastes better fresh. Even my least favorite veggie was so tasty that I found myself pacing the garden in the backyard, watching, waiting for that moment when it would stop being a plant and start being food.

Since last year went so well, I got ambitious and expanded the garden by adding a hanging salad garden.
First, let's take a moment to ooh and ah over the planters! These were upcycled from candle holders into hanging pots by my very talented mom, the MommaBar. Perhaps if we ask nicely, she will share how she did that in a later post.

These hanging baskets are perfect for salad ingredients which don't take up too much space. Plus, by hanging the lettuce, I'm keeping my plants away from critters.


Not that my neighborhood duckies would try to steal my lettuce.
My hanging salad buffet is sitting right outside my kitchen window, so it makes me hungry for salad every time I see it. It's a good positive reinforcement if you happen to be on diet. Much better than growing the rare cupcake bush...mmm, cupcakes.

Here's how to start your own hanging salad garden. Think of it as an outdoor salad buffet for your dining pleasure.


Supplies:
Hanging planter
Seeds (Giant Ceasar lettuce, baby red mixed lettuce, spinach, kale, arugula, etc.)
Potting soil
Fiber liner (sphagnum moss, coconut liner, or something similar)
Small hand trowel or cup
Gardening gloves
Scissors

Fill your hanging planter with a liner and potting soil using a spade or cup. Fill the planter so the soil is at least 2 - 4 inches deep.

Poke holes in the surface according to the seed packet instructions. Most salad greens are planted only 1 inch deep and 1 - 2 inch away from one another. Remember the plant will grow up and outward, so you don't want your lettuce to crowd each other.

Drop 3 or so seeds in each hole and cover the hole. Water well and then check on it every other day and water as required to keep the ground slightly damp.

In about 2 - 3 weeks time, you will hopefully see small clusters of plants growing from each spot. Thin the crop by cutting the smaller plants at the base of their stems and leaving only one plant in each spot. Killing these plants is a hard after caring for them for so many weeks, but trust me, the remaining plant will be much stronger when it has more room to grow.


Here is my hanging salad garden at 6 weeks! The kale and spinach have grown perfectly with a thriving plant in every spot. The red lettuce is doing well too. For some reason, only half of the giant Ceasar lettuce and none of the arugula survived, so I replanted a few more seeds and spaced them out a little further for more room to breath.

Even with the few plants that died, these plants will continue to grow and should be enough greens for light pickings whenever the mood for a salad strikes.

Maybe the strawberries will be ready by then too!

Rating of difficulty: 1 out of 5. This is a super easy project that even your kids could help with, if you have them. If you don't have them, you could try training your dog to help dig, but that might be slightly more complicated.

Linking at:
Summer Spruce Up Planter Link Party, Give Me the Goods Monday, Craft-O-Maniac, Monday Funday, Your Great Idea Link Party, Nifty Thrifty Sunday, The Dedicated House, Pretty Things Link Party, Home Stories AtoZ, Tasteful Tuesday, Mums Make Lists,

12 comments:

  1. Definitely want a DIY for that hanging planter, please, MommaBar!!!! :)

    I agree, it looked delicious out the window last time I was at your home. Someday, I'm going to try this!

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    Replies
    1. I'll see if I can talk her into it! ;-) Thanks Jacki!

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  2. I love those! Oh, the possibilities!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ginger! Glad you could stop by!
      Sara

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  3. Wonderful post...I really like your blog.^^
    Maybe follow each other on bloglovin?
    let me know follow you then back.
    Lovely greets Nessa

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    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Vanessa! What's your name on Bloglovin'? Here's my blog listing: http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/6564413/triedtwisted
      Toodles,
      Sara

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  4. I love this idea, very inspiring since I have NO gardening skills at all :)

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    Replies
    1. If I can keep something alive, I'd say anyone can! It definitely takes a lot of patience and trial and error.
      Toodles,
      Sara

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  5. This is awesome! I live in an apartment, so I can't plant a garden :( Really great idea!

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    Replies
    1. That's a shame! I've seen an apartment in our neighborhood where he grows potted veggies on his porch roof. Would that be an option for you?
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Sara

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