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  • Marion Gottschlag

Container Gardening in Succession

Both garden speak and technique can be so creative. Call it ‘cut and come again salad’ or succession planting, or my cute little pot full of lettuce leaves or ‘super-cali-lettuce-tastic-expe-ah-delicious’. Yes call it what you will. It all means the same thing, fresh salad for you on a regular basis… and it is magical. And it goes like this.

First choose the type of salad that whets your appetite or appeases your inner chef. Get as creative as you want! You can even go off the beaten path and try mizuna, arugula, baby kale, Swiss chard and  radishes. Now, you have my permission to go wild here (and lose all of your over-controlling ways) by using mesclun, (no, it is not a cousin to peyote)  it‘s a mix of seeds or raw greens. It will keep you curious as to what is growing for dinner.

Remember to use quality soil with compost mixed in…. after all, what you feed your plants is what you feed yourself.

Once your large pot, (or garden plot) of preferred lettuce plants are grown, you can freely pluck three or four of the outer leaves of each plant and use them fresh. This is referred to as ‘cut and come again salad’. The plant will just continue to grow and grow and give you more and more. If you have a large family, you can shear them off completely, up to three times. It is a good idea to plant them in succession… around ten days apart and harvest them in one continuous ‘groundhog day’ of a summer.

You can also choose ‘succession planting’,  using three medium sized pots. Here you will have a tag team of lettuce. Here is the recipe:  Get a medium pot. Plant your lettuce. You can then harvest your lettuce up to three times if you shear them off completely (or alternatively take a few leaves from each plant as needed.) Now here comes the kicker. After the first harvest… start a new pot! That second pot will be ready to be harvested as the first one is finished and gets added to your composter. Then rinse and repeat by planting that third container of luscious salad greens after the first harvest of your second plant. So clever! Who says math and gardening aren’t compatible. No really, who says that?

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