If you have always wanted to grow your own salad greens, this is the post for you! These plants will keep your indoor salad gardens green any time of year.
Another day, another plant post! I can’t help it. I just love plants, and growing my own food. It’s quite remarkable. I’ve gone over growing many different plants now, from indoor trees and succulent gardens to vertical gardens and pest repelling plants, but I have one other main one I must get to: greens to grow all year round! If you’re like me, and eat a lot of what my uncle affectionately calls rabbit food, a salad garden is a must. It’s kind of awesome to be able to grow your own salad. For those of us short on space, an indoor salad garden is absolutely wonderful! Today, I’m going to go over some cool indoor salad gardens, and greens you can grow no matter what time of year it is! Let’s talk indoor plants!
I have been eyeing garden carts like this one for a while now. How awesome is this? It’s large, has lots of space for many different types of greens, and it’s on wheels. So, if you need to move your garden to follow the sun, or just want it out of the way for dinner, this is the perfect indoor kitchen garden. I especially like the shelf on the bottom for watering cans, shovels, and other needs. I think it’s cool that there are also plates and mason jars under there. Maybe to easily snag a salad for lunch? I don’t know, but I like it! I almost want to turn one of my IKEA bar carts into something like this, but I may see if I can make one first. I’ll let you guys know if I end up with something cool. I just have to figure out the best way to make it drain well, since it’ll need to drain so my greens don’t drown!
If you have a window that gets lots of sunlight, and don’t have the floor space to give up for a cart, this is a great idea for an indoor garden. Vertical gardens are perfect for smaller apartments, or for those who just want to keep their space clean and organized. This way, all the plants are in one small area, and any runoff water can fall onto the plants below. You can buy them, or you can make one to fit the window you have. Some of the ideas from my vertical garden post would work well here!
With a set-up like either of these, you can also grow many other indoor vegetables, from tomatoes and chard to carrots and beets! If you need more light, you might need to buy some indoor garden lights, but they will totally pay for themselves once you start growing lots of salad greens! You can even start growing microgreens if you like, which I’ll talk about in another post soon! But for now, let’s talk about salad plants to grow.
Indoor Salad Gardens: Spinach
Spinach is one of my go-to greens. Maybe I watched too much Popeye the Sailor Man growing up, but I just love spinach. And, growing spinach indoors is easy. You’ll want to plant the seeds about an inch apart, in rows if you can for easy harvesting. Once they are seedlings, you’ll need to spread them out to about 6-8 inches apart. Check the variety of spinach you buy to see how much water and light they need to grow. In about 45-60 days, you should have large, wonderful spinach plants! I love baby spinach leaves, so I harvest early. Once done, you can take this soil and use it for composting, or add nutrients and start over!
Indoor Salad Gardens: Red Leaf Lettuce
Via Two Fat Bellies
Red leaf lettuce is another leafy green I love! This one just adds wonderful flavor and color to salads, so I keep it around a lot. You’ll also want to plant these seeds about one inch apart in the soil, but keep them close to the surface because they do need light to germinate. Spread them out when they become seedlings. Water as the package of the variety you buy states. Keep an eye on them to make sure they stay nice and vibrant, and aren’t limp. They may need more light or water if that happens. After around 4 weeks, you should be able to start harvesting leaves. Take only what you need for the meal you are making, and your lettuce will last a long time! Stagger your planting as well, so when you finish off some plants, others are ready for the picking!
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Indoor Salad Gardens: Kale
There are three main types of kale: green curly, dinosaur, and red curly. All are wonderful, and have slightly different tastes. I prefer dino kale, mostly because it’s called dino kale, but it also makes great kale chips! Growing kale indoors is super easy. As with most plants, start the seeds out about an inch apart, spread them out when they become seedlings, and follow the watering and light directions for the variety you buy. Just like with the red leaf lettuce, you can start harvesting by taking the leaves you need. Kale is ready when the leaves are about the size of your hand. You can harvest one leaf at a time, and don’t have to remove the whole plant, as long as you leave plenty of leaves for the plant to still grow.
Indoor Salad Gardens: Chicory
Via The Taste Space
I had no idea I would love chicory as much as I do, but I just love the taste! You can use pretty much the whole plant for different things. The brightly colored, tender leaves are great in salads, and will begin to have a more bitter taste the darker the leaves get. This adds a lovely dimension to salads and wraps. You can also harvest and dry the roots to use in teas. Chicory root might sound familiar to you because it’s the main ingredient in herbal coffee, which tastes a lot like coffee and has no caffeine. My sister loves herbal coffee. But back to this salad plant. You’ll grow this plant like the variety specifies, and harvest at several different times. You can use the tender micro shoots, the brightly colored young leaves, or even wait until the leaves are darker and more mature. It all depends on your taste!
Indoor Salad Gardens: Romaine
I love romaine lettuce. It’s so easy to grow, and it adds a lovely crunch to salads! It sets up like the rest of the greens I mention here. Plant the seeds an inch apart at first, move them further apart when they become seedlings. Water these a lot. They need lots of water. When harvesting romaine, you can chop it from the root like you see when you buy them from the store. The cool thing about romaine? Take the lettuce head like you see above, and chop or tear it as you normally would. Leave about 2 inches or so above the root end, and place in a container with about an inch of water. Keep the piece watered, and eventually it will grow more leaves! It’s like a magical re growing lettuce! I do this all the time with ones I buy from the store!
Indoor Salad Gardens: Arugula
There are so many varieties of arugula; you’re bound to find one you like! Most arugula plants grow the same, but as I keep repeating, check to see what the directions say on your variety. I love adding arugula to salads, wraps, and even sandwiches, like I would use spinach. Arugula also grows like most of the plants I mentioned here, just double check everything with the variety you buy, and you should be growing arugula indoors before you know it. It should be ready to harvest when you notice that the tiny rosettes have leaves about 3 inches tall around them. The flavor will get stronger once they start blooming, too, so keep that in mind!
Indoor Salad Gardens: Mesclun
Via Harvest to Table
If you like pretty much every plant listed above, you should look at getting a mesclun salad mix. Mesclun literally means “mixed,” and it is a mix of greens including but not limited to chicory, arugula, dandelion, endive, spinach, chard, radicchio, and other leafy greens. There are blends that are sweeter, and some that have more of a spicy bite to them. They’re also super easy to grow, and you can find mesclun seeds online or in most garden stores. For these, the best way to take care of them is to follow the instructions on the package, since there are different mesclun blends and they need differing amounts of sun and water.
There you have it, folks! Some super awesome salad garden ideas combined with greens to grow in them all year long! Who out there wants an indoor salad garden? Let me know what you want to grow in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this post with all your family and friends. And, as always, stay creative, my friends!
**Featured image via Gardener's Journal