Create a Salad Pot This Weekend

One of the joys of summer is the tasty delights in a bowl of fresh picked salad. Ripe tomatoes, cool cucumbers, and crunchy lettuce are just a few of the salad ingredients you can grow at home, even if all you have is a sunny porch. Here’s how to plant your own salad pot this weekend.

Materials You Need:

  • A solid garden container at least 18 inches wide and about as deep with drainage holes in the bottom. This size will hold three vegetable or herb plants. Want more plants? Get a bigger pot.
  • About 3 cubic feet of quality potting soil. Most bags of potting soil will be at least that large.
  • A hand trowel and a pair of flexible garden gloves.
All you need to create your salad pot is a solid container, good potting soil, and herbs and vegetables you will enjoy eating. This container is about two feet across and will hold about five plants.

Plants to Buy:

This is where you can get creative. Think of what ingredients you’d like to eat in your summer salad. Pick varieties that are bred for growing in small spaces. Ideally each veggie or herb you buy should be happy growing no more than two feet high and about a foot wide. Larger veggies need to go in the ground where they have room to expand.

Veggies – tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, kale, bush beans

Herbs – thyme, salad burnet, parsley, onion chives, basil

Add plants like this basil into the pot so the top of the root ball is at least two inches below the top of the container. This “header space” makes it easier to water your garden.

Putting It All Together:

  1. Make sure the potting soil is moist and the plants are well watered before you start.
  2. Fill the container about two thirds full with potting soil.
  3. Remove your plants from their plastic nursery pots. Loosen the roots at the bottom.
  4. Spread the plants evenly around the pot with the roots spread out and the tops of the root balls at the same height in the pot.
  5. Fill in the empty spaces with potting soil leaving at least two inches between the top of the soil and the rim of the pot.
  6. Water thoroughly to settle the soil and encourage the roots to get started. Place your container where it will get at least four hours of direct sunlight every day.
  7. Fertilize monthly to encourage growth and watch your salad pot thrive.
  8. Keep an eye on your new garden. Water whenever the top inch of soil dries out.

That’s all there is to this Saturday project. Creating a salad pot takes only about an hour but the results will stay with you all summer long.

Here’s my completed salad pot with lettuce, parsley, Swiss chard, and basil. With regular water and fertilizer I will enjoy harvesting from this mini-garden all summer long.

Ann McCormick
Ann McCormick, Southwest Gardening contributor

If you enjoy herbs and organic gardening, you’ll want to meet Ann McCormick, the Herb ‘n Cowgirl. A life-long gardener, she has devoted her time for the last 20 years to writing and speaking about her favorite subject. The Herb ‘n Cowgirl also shares her love of herbs and her gardening techniques as a speaker and media guest. She lives in Fort Worth, TX with her husband of 37 years and an assortment of dogs. To find out more about the Herb ‘n Cowgirl visit her at

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