Ornamental edibles are all the rage these days. Which is kind of funny, because the edibles haven’t changed at all, it’s just that we’re all noticing how beautiful (i.e. “ornamental) they are. Take mesclun salad mixes, for example. Did you ever take a moment to notice how beautiful baby lettuce leaves are? There are so many shapes and colors of leaves. And they’re totally easy to grow. Here’s how…
Growing Your Own Mesclun Salad Greens is Easy
All you need is a packet of mesclun (mixed salad greens meant to be harvested when the plants are very young) seeds, good quality potting soil, and some sort of container. I’m growing mine in a wooden six pot set, but a basket lined with plastic, a wine crate, a pretty colander, or whatever other pot you have on hand will work.
Simply fill your container of choice with soil and then water the soil so that it is evenly moist. Sprinkle the seeds evenly over the entire surface of soil. Now spread a 1/8 inch layer of potting soil over the seeds to cover them. If you have a spot with morning sun, that would be ideal, as lettuces often don’t appreciate hot, afternoon sun. If you only have afternoon sun, pick a spot in bright shade or with filtered light. Keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy.
In my little six pot set, I grew mesclun mix in three of the pots, and pansies in the other three. The combination looks pretty, and the pansy flowers are edible too!
Once the lettuce leaves have grown to the right size for a salad, grab your scissors and cut all the lettuces off about a half inch above the soil line. Most salad greens will grow new leaves, hence the name “cut and come again” on many seed packets.
Interested in which flowers are edible and what they taste like? Check out this post I wrote: Edible Flowers and How to Eat Them.
Did you notice the container?
The container I grew my salad greens and pansies in is the Herb Garden from the 8point8 Etsy Shop. Brian sent it to me to try out. I think it is very nicely made. The wood is all reclaimed/recycled, and as you can see, it has a cool greyish patina to it. There are six individual wooden pots that all nest inside a wooden tray. The bottom of both the pots and the tray are made out of slats of wood to allow water to drain away. The whole set feels very substantial and well made.
I would think that you could grow all sorts of things in the pots. I grew salad ingredients, and obviously you could grow herbs (hence the name Brian gave the pots/tray), but I think it would also look really great with different low-growing succulents. Heck, you don’t even have to plant anything in the tray. It would make a stylish seed/tool/supplies organizer too.
p.s. Are you interested in delicious salad dressing recipes? Several have been shared in the comments of my Facebook post.