The Cut and Come Again Garden
Cut and come again
A fresh salad makes a great side dish or a hearty meal, depending upon the ingredients.
The salad or cut-and-come-again garden is one of the simplest gardens to set up and even a small space can yield meals all through the gardening season.
Cut-and-come-again refers to the plants’ used abilities to grow new leaves after they have been harvesting. Careful cutting will keep the plant growing new leaves.
The first step when setting up your cut-and-come-again garden is to determine how much space you have to devote to the garden. The second step is to determine how much time you have.
Step two is to determine how much time you have. Once established a salad garden does not need much care, depending upon the size and how it is planted (containers, in the ground) however, you cannot just plant and ignore. The greens need water and if they are in containers or a window box, they may need water frequently. You will need to observe and respond accordingly.
When the weather becomes very hot, during the height of summer, for example, lettuces and other plants have a tendency to bolt, go to seed, rather quickly and the crop is lost.
The third step is to decide what you want to grow. There are many options. I like spinach, romaine lettuce, kale and arugula, for example, but there are a number of others, that are ideal in a salad garden.
If you have the space, add a plant or two, more if you can, of cherry tomatoes, they are excellent right off the vine but there are times when a salad just needs a few. One of my favourite, basic salads, is cherry tomatoes, romaine lettuce and feta cheese with a sprinkling of balsamic vinagrete over it.
The cut-and-come-again garden can be grown hydroponically and this may be the ideal solution for anyone who does not have ready access to an outdoor space or who wishes to grow all year round.
Hydroponic gardening is an ideal way for people who do not have enough space to lay out a garden or who do not want to deal with soil to grow, herbs, flowers and vegetables. Hydroponic uses mineral solutions instead of soil as the growing medium.
There are several basic types of hydroponic systems and you will select the one that best suits your resources and needs.
Do not shy away from a salad garden if you have a spot that gets some shade, especially in the afternoon, many salad greens appreciate a shady spot when the sun gets too hot.
When you set up the cut-and-come-again garden you have a ready source of fresh and healthy food right nearby. What could be better?
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.