Whether you want to grow lettuce, spinach, cabbage, or collards, growing green leafy vegetables doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right soil, watering, and care, you can grow leafy vegetables that continue to produce the more you harvest from them. Select the types of plants you want to grow ahead of time, and make sure you have enough room in your garden to space the number of plants you want appropriately.
Prepare a full sun bed area for your leafy greens by digging up the soil and mixing it together up to 8 inches deep. Remove rocks, twigs, and other items as you uncover them, and break apart as many clumps of soil as possible.
Add garden soil or compost over the bed in a 2- to 4-inch layer to cover the entire surface. Till the garden again to mix the compost in with the ground soil until it appears to be an even mixture of the two. If your soil is sandy, then repeat this step to add more compost or garden soil to the bed.
Plant your seedlings into the bed following proper spacing guidelines, using a tape measure if necessary. Space loose leaf lettuce 6 to 8 inches apart, head lettuce 12 inches apart, 4 to 6 inches for spinach, 15 to 24 inches between cabbage plants, and 15 to 18 inches apart for collards.
Water the bed well to evenly moisten the soil in and around each plant. Keep the bed evenly moist like this for the first two to three weeks or until you begin to see new growth. After new growth appears, do this less often to encourage deep roots.
Fertilize your leafy green vegetables with an all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer when planting and then again after one month. As you apply the fertilizer, whether you use granules or a liquid feed, avoid direct contact with the leaves and stalks of your plants.
Check on your bed every couple of days to harvest plants or leaves that are ready, pull weeds and look for pests that may have invaded your garden. Slugs, snails and caterpillars often dine on leafy greens. Pull hungry pests off your plants as you see them, or treat your plant with a safe pesticide for edible plants.