Gardeners in California can plant a vibrant salad garden in the fall for tasty salad greens all winter long. Lettuces, spinach, arugula, chard, mustard, and other salad fixings thrive in cooler temperatures as the frost gives them a sweeter, richer taste and more vivid colors. Plant an organic seed mix of salad greens in a raised bed or planter box filled with rich organic soil in a site that gets 6 hours of sun a day with a fresh layer of compost and sow organic seeds directly.
Gardeners can install floating row covers, light weight landscape fabric installed over PVC tubing hoops that allows sunlight and water to pass through, but protects newly planted seeds and seedlings from pests and harsh weather conditions and conserves soil moisture. Planting successive crops in between fully grown plants every two weeks keeps a constant supply. Companion planting of different greens in one raised bed uses every bit of garden space. With a simple drip irrigation system and inexpensive timer, the plants can get the right amount of water at the right time.
A cut and come again garden of salad greens brings outstanding broad based nourishment to the table with vitamins, minerals, and a wide variety of phytonutrients. These greens, instead of iceberg lettuce with little nutritional value, have become popular with their rich spicy flavors and superior nutritional content. Cut the needed outside leaves 1 to 2 inches above the soil level with scissors, and these plants will continue to regrow for months. For the best nutrition, harvest leaves in the morning.
Gardeners can experiment with different seeds to find their favorite salad greens. Add herbs, and edible flowers and create a salad garden that is attractive and delicious. The more leaves gardeners harvest, the more will grow.