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Grow a Salad Garden – Guide + Salad Garden Layout

Grow Your Own! Salad that is.

So you crave a salad,  you go all the way  to the grocery store to pick out your herbivore delights, and once you’re there you stare and wonder how long these veggies have really been on the shelf, or worse yet, how many hands have touched your rabbit food before you. Our inner germ-a-phobe is beginning to cringe…

So, instead of driving to the store, sorting through the salad produce, and rushing to eat everything within 3 days so it doesn’t turn into a slimy mess at the bottom of your refrigerator…

Let’s grow a Salad Garden!

In this article we’ll give you a simple run down of:

  • What a salad garden is.
  • What to plant to grow a salad garden.
  • The harvest and growing time for salad garden plants.
  • Plus we’ll give you our very own salad garden planting template with plant spacing and layout needs!

Just want to reference our Salad Garden Planting Chart? Scroll to the bottom of this page.

Want Other Layout Ideas? Check out our other guide: Salsa Garden Layout & Stir Fry Garden Layout

Ready to grow your own salad garden? Shop our Garden Kits & Garden Grids™ Here.

So, What is a Salad Garden?

Actually it’s a pretty simple answer. A Salad Garden is just like any other type of garden, except everything you grow is intended to be harvested to create a complete and delicious salad. Basically, meal prepping from day one.

Imagine…succulent Tomatoes, zesty Basil, tender Lettuce, refreshing Cucumbers, crisp Peppers, tender Carrots, Chives, Arugula, and Green Onions – All right at your fingertips in YOUR OWN garden. You can imagine it, and when you do, don’t forget to imagine yourself with your lounge-wear and slippers on because you don’t need to put on anything else. When you grow a salad garden there’s no need to put on “being seen in public clothes”; you’re king of your castle, lord of your land, guardian of your….garden, just stay comfy, grab a pair of snippers and your salad bowl!


What should I plant to grow a salad garden?

For our salad garden planting layout, all plants will mature within a week or so of each other and will continue to provide you with fresh greens and veggies for many weeks – some plants month’s – others years!  So don’t be afraid to plant the “next generation” of salad garden plants as you see your current plants’ fruit production slowing, this way you will have a great rotation of fresh veggies. Below are the most popular and essential plants needed to grow a great salad garden along with their harvest and plant spacing needs.

*If you want to add more variety to your garden check out our comprehensive plant spacing guide for raised bed gardening to get you started.*

  • Tomatoes – 65-75 days to maturity, plant near basil, cucumber, parsley, and onion. Tomatoes are ripe when they can be pulled easily from their stem. They can also ripen a little after picking – so if your area’s weather is expected to swing outside of your usual temps (hot or cold) or there are strong storms coming –  you can pick tomatoes that are still pink in color and have them taste great.
  • Basil – 65-75 days to maturity, plant near tomatoes, peppers, oregano, lettuce and onions. Pinch off a few leaves or snip one sprig at a time once plants are at least 8 inches tall.
  • Cucumber – 50-60 days to maturity, plant cucumbers near carrots, radishes, and beans. Snip from vines when they are a deep green all over and are firm.
  • Arugula – 60 days to maturity, plant near onions, carrots, cucumbers, other lettuce varieties. Harvest leaves a few at a time when they are at least 6 inches long, continue to cut new leaves as the plant develops
  • Oregano – 70 days to maturity. Oregano is easy going and can grow near just about anything, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cucumbers…etc. Oregano is a perennial so you can enjoy this versatile herb continuously after maturity.
  • Chives – 60 days to maturity, plant near carrots and cucumbers. Snip a few at a time down to soil level once they are at least 6 inches tall
  • Parsley – 65-75 days to maturity, plant near tomatoes, chives, lettuce, just about anything really. Snip off sprigs when they are about 4-6 inches long.
  • Sweet Peppers – 50-60 days to maturity, plant near parsley, basil and onions. Pick peppers when they are green and full size for your variety.  Leave on the plant to ripen to a red or yellow for sweeter flavors.
  • Carrots – 65-75 days to maturity, plant near lettuce and onions. Pull carrots when their diameter is about 1-2 inches across —just dig your index finger into the soil around each carrot and check the size just below the stem.
  • Green Onion (Scallions) – 60 days to maturity, plant near carrots, cucumbers, basil. Pull or snip Scallions when the tops are at least 6 inches tall and the stems are about as thick as a pencil.
  • Lettuce – 50-60 days to maturity, plant near onions carrots and cucumbers. Harvest leaves a few at a time when they are at least 4-6 inches long, continue to cut new leaves as they develop.

Salad Garden Layout Planting Guide – What to Grow and Spacing Needs

Don’t worry garden friends. We wouldn’t be called Garden In Minutes if we weren’t here to make gardening quick and easy.

We’ve tried our hand at a variety of salad garden layouts, and while everyone has their own taste, this salad garden layout gave us our favorite plant variety and the best proportion of veggies grown.

Below is our personal salad garden planting guide for a common 4×4 garden area. It has all of the plant spacing needs and recommended layout that puts companion plants next to each other. This planting guide gives you a fantastic variety and all plants should mature within one week of each other – so you can plant everything at once! Our salad garden template is laid out in a 4×4 Garden Grid watering system – (which doubles as a planting guide, useful right?) so you can see all of your salad garden plant spacing needs and organization.

Salad Garden Planting Guide

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That’s it! Everything you need to grow a salad garden. Grow some greens, stay comfy in your own home, and enjoy the freshest salad you’ve ever eaten!

Happy Gardening!

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