Salad vegetables are a nice addition to the garden because most can be grown quickly, and enjoyed straight from the garden. There are also a wide variety of vegetables you can include for your salad vegetable garden. The young leaves of beet plants and leaves of amaranth can be used long before it is time to harvest the root or grain. You can also add variety to your salads by planting purslane, arugula, rocket, endive, cress or mustard.
Select a mixture of seeds you would like to plant for your salads. Make sure to include at least one variety of lettuce. The best varieties to grow are the loose-leaf and upright lettuce varieties. Head lettuce can be more difficult to grow, and takes longer to get to the point where it can be harvested.
Select an area that gets full sun and good soil drainage to begin your salad garden. Till the soil with a shovel to a depth of about eight inches. A crop can be started in early spring after frost for summer harvest, or mid-summer for fall harvests.
Use a soil test kit to measure the pH of the soil. Make sure it is between 5.5 to 6.5 for best results. Add lime to the soil if you need to raise the pH level. Mix a 10-10-10 fertilizer through the soil. Use about two pounds of fertilizer for each 100 square feet of garden area.
Plant your salad vegetable seeds directly into the soil at a depth of ¼ inch. Plant beet seeds at a deeper depth of ½ inch, and endive and amaranth seeds more shallowly at a depth of 1/8 inch. Space each planting a foot apart. Plant cress and spinach more densely, at 3 inches apart.
Water your salad garden about three times a week with enough water to lightly moisten the soil. Deep watering can cause your salad garden to become more susceptible to disease.
Remove weeds around your plants by hand. Avoid digging too deeply around your plants. Most salad plants have shallow roots that can uproot easily.
Add a side-dressing of 10-10-10 fertilizer to your salad plants at a rate of a pound per 25-foot row during the mid-summer.