The Easiest Way to Start a Salad Garden

Four Steps to an Easy Salad Garden

Want to try your hand at growing a little of your own food but not ready to go all out with a large raised bed?

Starting with a small natural container is a great way to get a first taste of that ‘garden to table’ experience.

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When I first started my company, Rooted Garden, I created these containers and sold nearly 100 of them for holiday gifts. I literally pulled the salad plants for each planter from my own backyard garden and heard from friends and clients that they cut from their planter once a week for months! And even the most neglected gardens still came back the following autumn when dormant lettuce seeds decided to sprout again.

Make these simple salad planters with me in just four steps:

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Get a Container

At least 6” deep and made of natural materials. Some of my favorites are cedar, steel and terra cotta clay.

Be sure to add drainage holes to the bottom of your container if it doesn’t come with. Drainage is super important for lettuce plants that don’t like to sit in water.

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Fill with Soil

Use an organic potting soil and compost mixture. Lettuce plants like a soil mix that’s a little more alkaline. I love to grow lettuces in a sandy loam soil mix. So, if you can find one at your local nursery, grab a bag.

Lettuce also loves to grow in organic compost. Creating a 50/50 mixture of soil and compost works great.

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Plant Lettuce Plants & Seeds

Use locally grown lettuce plants or organic seeds. Don’t just grab any bag of seeds from the hardware store. Be sure yours are organic and non-GMO if possible.

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Water Regularly

Give your planter 4 hours of sun daily and about one inch of water per week. You can test your planter’s moisture by gently sticking your fingertip into the soil. If it feels dry a few inches down, it’s time to give the plants a drink.

If your planter is in direct sunlight, you’ll need to water more often. Keep an eye on your plants to be sure they’re not stressed out with too much sun.


These little planters are one of the very best ways to start your own vegetable gardening experience. And, with the ability to move them into more shady and cooler spots, you can almost do this year-round.

Nicole Burke Owner of Gardenary

Ready to take your salad garden to the next level?

Learn more about my awesome salad gardening course right here.