Patio To Plate
I’ve been wanting to grow salad for a while and took the leap of faith October 2016 when for the first time I planted Mesclun - Spicy Mix. After some research I decided to use compost soil so it could withstand the cold snap and reduce my need to water it regularly. I saved my vegetable and fruit scraps and mixed it into some soil along with egg shells and ink-free brown paper bags.
Last year, a few of my garden experiments never came to fruition, regardless of how much research or care I put into it. So I was ecstatic when I saw the seedlings appear within a week and by December they were ready to consume. We enjoyed its crispness and faint bitter notes in a salad with our Christmas lunch and were even more surprised when they grew back by February 2017.
I am amazed at their heartiness; their ability to grow in a partially sunny environment and survive cold snaps as well as the unpredictable weather pattern that we experienced this Fall/Winter in New Orleans.
Here are some tips to recreate your own patio to plate salad experience :-
- Break down your kitchen scraps in a blender before you combine it with soil and brown matter (leaves that fall on my patio from neighboring trees and brown paper grocery bags)
- Space the seedlings with enough distance allowing them to grow out. Remove those that look limp.
- Stagger the planting days so you can have a steady supply
- Once a month, gently water the seedlings with an Epsom salt solution
- Cut leaves 2 inches away from the base so it can grow back