How to Grow Salad Greens in Garden Beds

Growing a successful crop of leafy greens in your garden will give you weeks of harvest.

Sow the Seeds

Plant both head and leaf lettuces in shallow rows, but head lettuce should be sown much more thinly. Once seeds have germinated, thin them out to 6–12 inches apart, depending on their final size.

Sow Lettuce Heads in Drills

Sow Lettuce Heads in Drills

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Take Care

Protect your plants from slugs, using mini cloches made from clear plastic bottles. You may also need to net them to keep birds from eating your crops. Water them regularly during summer. They are prone to bolting in hot weather, so plant them close to taller crops, such as beans, that will provide shade.

Protect Lettuce Plants with Netting

Protect Lettuce Plants with Netting

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Leafy Options: Planting and Aftercare

Arugula (image 1) is best sown in spring and early fall, when the cooler temperatures make it less likely to bolt. Sow thinly and protect the young seedlings from flea beetles, which nibble the leaves, by covering the plants with a fine mesh or garden fleece.

Lamb's lettuce (image 2) can be sown at any time in spring and summer. It's a useful crop to sow late in the season to provide a tasty winter substitute for lettuce. For the best quality leaves, grow lamb's lettuce under cloches, in a greenhouse or under well-vented plastic (keep out of direct sun).

Green Onions: Growing and Harvesting

Green onions are an ideal crop for garden beds and for pots and containers. Sprinkle a small amount of seed on the surface of the soil once every two weeks throughout spring and summer, to ensure a constant supply. In mild areas, green onions sown in late summer can be left in the soil during winter, to harvest the following spring.

Simply lift the tangy bulbs from the soil as you need them and use in salads or stir-fries.

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