The best idea I've heard in a long time was described in the February/March 2008 issue of Organic Gardening. The magazine article was called a …
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The best idea I've heard in a long time was described in the
February/March 2008 issue of Organic Gardening. The magazine
article was called a "Portable Salad Box.”
A portable salad box is a 18-by-30-foot rectangle made from
1-by-4-foot cedar screwed together, and screen wire stapled to the
bottom. Handles are attached on each side for easier carrying.
Any scrap wood, except pressure treated wood would work, but we
have some cedar pickets left over from a gate we built, and we have
a sliding screen door that had to be replaced because we have
What an innovative, clever way to keep your kitchen garden where
you need it.
This idea is much like container planting, but for plants such
as lettuces, spinach, radishes, bunching onions that don't require
deep root space; instead, they need space between plants above
This shallow box is perfect for placing your salad garden in
sun, in cooler shade, out of the way of critters, or in the garage
as conditions change throughout the season.
As with container plants, the potting soil should be
pre-moistened. I'll add some fish emulsion to the mix because
greens start off so well with it. Then sow the seeds sparingly in
Before leaving it outside permanently, be sure to harden off the
plants. In other words, leave them outside for an hour the first
day and then for longer periods until they're ready to be out
If you can start the seeds indoors, they could be started
mid-April and start hardening off in May or so, depending on our
But at least in a portable box, you can bring them inside when
unexpected freezing temperatures come along. You can also bring it
inside in the fall when we otherwise throw up our hands and say,
"Well, the frost last night killed the last of the lettuce and
that's the end of homegrown salads."
The Colorado State University, Colorado Master Gardener Program,
volunteer network extending knowledge-based education throughout
Colorado communities to foster successful gardeners. For
information, call the CSU Extension, Elbert County Master Gardener
office at 303-621-3162.
Doris Smith is a Colorado master gardener.
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