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Grow Super Easy Salads

Updated on July 20, 2015

I Love Crispy, Crunchy Green Salads!

I truly enjoy Crispy, Crunchy Green Salads especially in the spring and summer months when I can grow my own, some years they even last through early fall.

Often I plan our dinner menus solely around our garden lettuces ready for trimming. No salad tastes better than the fresh greens straight from your own garden to your dinner plate. I even admit I have had a fresh garden salad at lunch and another at dinner some days.

Crispy, Crunchy Green Salads Are Simply The Best!

Limited on space or time? Then growing a Garden Salad is perfect for you. The best method is to use some type of container; a planter, a pot, or a home-made box whatever fits your yard, home or apartment. It's a garden that keeps on giving as with proper care you can have repeat harvests of greenery produce over and over.

Growing your own Salad is super easy.

(image credit:mixedgreensblog)

This year's Salad - BTW - That's tasty Taragon in the forefront

Doesn't look like all that many Spring Greens but looks are deceiving and the snapshot just doesn't do them justice. You'll notice though they take up very little space and I love how I can place them right outside the door for easy access.

Crispy Crunchy Salad Containers

First things first, you need a good container

I have used many containers over the years, a wine barrel half, various size flower pots, wooden boxes I made and painted myself, and this year rectangular planters that I had stored in the greenhouse. You can even show of your artistic flare by planting in an old play wagon or garden cart. Check out the clever ideas from Better Homes and Gardens and more below.

Whichever style you choose it should be 6 - 12" deep and large enough not to crowd your flavorful salad. Be sure it has good drainage as you don't want your lettuces to sit in overly wet soil, this will bring about problems with bugs and mildew. Then during the warm summer months keep a watchful eye as you will find they call for daily watering, it's easy to tell as they tend to wither helplessly.

Be sure you start with a nutrient rich potting soil, I plant with the Miracle Grow brand and fill the container to roughly one inch from the top; plant too high and your soil will run over when you water. Position your containers to receive plentiful sunlight. Mine face east so they soak up sufficient morning and early afternoon sun.

(Photo credit:keeping it real @ Flickr)

Crispy Crunchy Salad Lettuces

"Let us" check out the "Lettuce"

Sorry, over-used pun I know.

The great thing about Growing your own Salad is you can try an assortment of lettuces, everything from the common grocery store variety to the expensive restaurant selections. Each year I usually see something different and give it a try, you really can't go wrong.

This year we have what could be referred to as the Spring Salad Mix or Field Greens blend.

Photo Gallery images below from: freshchannels - hellotrade - gourmetsleuth - fulchinovineyard

Our Repeating Harvest Salad Mix - Have you tried any of these?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Arugula similar to small spinach leaves, has a slight peppery flavorArugla very aromatic, gives your salad that restaurant edgeButter Lettuce aka Boston Lettuce, has firm but soft leaves, great for giving body to your saladRed Oak Loose Leaf  similar to traditional grocery store Red or Green Leaf lettuce but with a bit firmer leafRed Mustard similar to Romaine leaves has a pungent, peppery flavor to give your salad a tasty edgeFrisee similar to Mesclun or Japanese Mizunam, a small leaf with a subtle tangy taste
Arugula similar to small spinach leaves, has a slight peppery flavor
Arugula similar to small spinach leaves, has a slight peppery flavor
Arugla very aromatic, gives your salad that restaurant edge
Arugla very aromatic, gives your salad that restaurant edge
Butter Lettuce aka Boston Lettuce, has firm but soft leaves, great for giving body to your salad
Butter Lettuce aka Boston Lettuce, has firm but soft leaves, great for giving body to your salad
Red Oak Loose Leaf  similar to traditional grocery store Red or Green Leaf lettuce but with a bit firmer leaf
Red Oak Loose Leaf similar to traditional grocery store Red or Green Leaf lettuce but with a bit firmer leaf
Red Mustard similar to Romaine leaves has a pungent, peppery flavor to give your salad a tasty edge
Red Mustard similar to Romaine leaves has a pungent, peppery flavor to give your salad a tasty edge
Frisee similar to Mesclun or Japanese Mizunam, a small leaf with a subtle tangy taste
Frisee similar to Mesclun or Japanese Mizunam, a small leaf with a subtle tangy taste

Planting your Lettuces

I have used Bonnie brand plants for ages and with great results, I highly recommend them for your garden.

Crispy Crunchy Salad Recipes

Super Easy Salad Serving Suggestions

You will find that your Super Easy Salad is ready for harvesting in just 2 short weeks. You can enjoy repeat harvests by trimming off individual leaves as you need them. Do not chop off the entire head at the base as this may cause your lettuce to die off.

Just trim, rinse, and enjoy!

I prefer simple Salads with a light dressing so that I can really taste the flavor of the chosen greens. I hope you enjoy these Salad and Dressing recipes.

(image credit:generationyfoodie)

I prepare this Field Greens Salad often or a variety thereof as it compliments any main dish. I also added apples to the ingredients even though not pictured.

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of Fresh from your Garden field greens
  • 6 thin slices of a Granny Smith apple
  • 4 Tbsp. crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted rice sticks

Instructions

  1. Divide all ingredients equally between 2 salad plates. Place the field greens first, top with the sliced apples, the blue cheese and the dried cranberries and toasted rice sticks. Top with our Homemade Vinaigrette Serve immediately.

Basic Field Greens Garden Salad - adapted from allrecipes.com lettuce salad

This is a very Basic Salad that can be served to please most anyone, spice it up by adding Mandarin Orange slices, Dried Cranberries, or Croutons

Prep time: 10 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 2

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Fresh from your Garden Field Greens
  • 1 4 oz can of sliced Black Olives
  • 1 cup Broccoli Crowns broken or cut into bite-size chunks
  • Grated Parmesan to taste (optional not pictured)

Instructions

  1. Divide all ingredients equally between 2 salad plates. Place the field greens first, top with the Broccoli Crowns and Black Olives. Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese if you like, Top with our Homemade Garlic Yogurt Dressing and Serve.

Crispy Crunchy Salad Dressings

Super Easy Salad Dressing Suggestions

When it comes to Salad Dressings I prefer simple and light dressings while my husband prefers a more creamy style dressing. These are a couple of our favorites I hope they become a couple of yours.

Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 2 or 3

Homemade Vinaigrette - This is a light dressing perfect on Spring Mix or Field Greens

  • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped Shallots
  • Small dash of white pepper

Instructions

  1. When used immediately: whisk all ingredients together in a large salad bowl and then mix the salad in the bowl.
  2. When prepared for later use: whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and pour into a jar, cover, and shake. Can keep covered and chilled for about 1 week, shake before using.
  3. Delicious on the Organic Field Greens with Granny Smith Apples
Prep time: 5 min
Ready in: 5 min
Yields: 3 or 4

Homemade Garlic Yogurt Dressing - This is a fairly heavy dressing perfect on Romaine or Butter lettuce

  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. celery seed
  • 2 or 3 finely chopped medium cloves of garlic

Instructions

  1. Blend the yogurt, lemon juice, celery seed, and garlic in a small bowl and whisk together pour into a jar and cover. Can keep covered and chilled for about 1 week, shake before using.
  2. Delectible on the Basic Field Greens Garden Salad

Crispy Crunchy Salad Extras

Hat-tipping Salad Toppers

Really terrific Salads come with a little extra. They all start out with a selection of your favorite fresh greens but seldom do we leave them like that and just add our dressings. We tend to add just about anything under the sun. From croutons and goldfish crackers, dried cranberries, mandarin oranges, and apple slices, to peppers, green onions and celery.

(image courtesy of: Plow and Hearth)

Are you a Cheesy Salad Topper?

Do you add shredded cheese to your Garden Fresh Salad?

See results
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Thanks for reading you're the best! - Since you did, what's your favorite salad dressing or salad topper?

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    Post Comment

    • MarilynThompson profile imageAUTHOR

      Marilyn Thompson 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      J am so glad you enjoyed!!

    • dragonlildragon profile image

      dragonlildragon 

      6 years ago

      What a great share, thanks for this lens a true gem. :-)

    • profile image

      acreativethinker 

      6 years ago

      I love growing my own lettuce. These are just great ideas. Thanks for sharing. :)

    • HenkWillemse profile image

      HenkWillemse 

      6 years ago

      I've always wanted to grow my own herbs and salad stuffs, and you've given me some good ideas.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      6 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I like mixing up some avocado and lemon juice. You can of course add anything else you like to season it. Great article! :)

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 

      6 years ago

      I don't have a favorite salad dressing, but I do love growing my own spinach for my salad. Mostly because I know it is completely organic and I don't have to worry about pesticides.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 

      6 years ago

      My fresh garden salads are the best and I love the look of lettuces and greens growing in my garden.

    • prikazen profile image

      prikazen 

      6 years ago

      Did you ever try just plain apple vinegar and pumpkin-seed oil? With some salt and maybe garlic? It's traditional in North-East Slovenia, also in Austria and Hungary...

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 

      6 years ago

      I like Thousand Island or Italian dressing.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for the recipes.

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