Growing Your Own Salad in Your Backyard

If the thought of growing your own lettuce seems too complex, you’re not alone. But don’t let our environment deter you. I can tell you unequivocally that, fresh from Mother Nature’s trays, the perfect lettuce is grown in home gardens, not on supermarket shelves.

I saw lettuce on the market about 10 years ago when I went out to my local grocer for some vegetables. As I handed over my order, a produce manager came running up and handed me a package of lettuce. It had been there for at least a day, but by the time I paid for it, the label read “ready for field, nursery, or potting.” I could have told him those are the two best options for his customer.

Research conducted by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated that, in 2016, one in five of the world’s biggest companies were in the “herbs and vegetables” market. I think it was the number-one supermarket in Beaconsfield where they turned out 5,500 tons of lettuce!

The situation is a clear indication that when people have access to fresh, local produce, they’re going to eat it. Although it still takes a bit of effort to get to that point, growing your own produces dependability.

Today’s California climate can seem pretty dry, but the flip side is that we have a lot of moisture available year-round, so starting a garden is easy. If you plant lettuce in pots, you might have a problem with the volume of water that your plants require. I would suggest that you have your large pot divided into several smaller ones. This will help to avoid overcrowding.

If you are interested in growing broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, radish, turnip and chard, here are a few tips.

Bigger = better

Chard should be planted in a two-foot square area, but it needs to be tough and hardy. While this vegetable is not native to Canada, it does survive with some water here and there.

Potted versus transplant

Riba is native to Kazakhstan, and and Transolus is a dwarf xylem lupin also native to Kazakhstan. Both are the domesticated peas. Lattes are not native to Canada, but it is a favorite of many, including me. Nautilus is something new that is also quite delicious and most likely takes longer to grow than normal rasberries.


We have about five layers to an inch of water down on our Ontario grass, but I get my own blend. Before fall, I soak the soil for 24 to 48 hours in the sink, then allow to air dry. At the same time, I mix a quantity of winter fertilizer, add more if needed and divide the soil into three sizes.

I measure it out by hand, and then when I am halfway done, I sprinkle in a layer of three to five inches of H20, but only on my most sensitive areas. This allows the plants to breathe when it is very hot and dry in the summer, and protects the crop when there are low amounts of water in the fall.

Planning for spring

There are about 25 different veggies you can buy on the supermarket shelves. Since I plan to keep my lettuce pot over, that leaves me with five areas for my garden.

The first is the section where I have my hardiest vegetables, such as kale, chard, cabbage, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, mache, mustard greens, lima beans, pearl onions, garlic chives, for and all the cucumbers, seeds, tomato ketchup, and peppers.

Next is the section where the softiest, fat vegetables such as cucumbers, beets, peppers, eggplant, cauliflower, muskmelons, winter squash and green beans.

In the back is the rosemary, parsley, rosemary, dill, cilantro, mint, anise, thyme, parsley, chives, spearmint, and lavender.

There is also a wide section of herbs, mainly those for medicinal and culinary purposes such as dill, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, sage, and rosemary.

This last, the last three are for me. I start off the season with dill, and continue with the uplifting herbs in June. I then move on to the hottest, juiciest summer vegetables, when I add beets, carrots, onions, and squash. For my final selection, I add cucumbers, tomatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, sweet corn, and more.

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