Cooling weather doesn’t mean curtains for your vegetable garden (unless you live in Great Falls, Montana, where I’ve heard the growing season ends with the first snow on August 10.) Salad greens love temps in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And as the photo above shows, you don’t even need a garden. A nice container will do.
I took this photo at one of Birmingham’s most excellent garden centers, Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery at Pepper Place. Charlie, who worked with Grumpy for many years at Southern Living, is a master at putting together all sorts of containers. I particularly liked this one, because it shows plants you don’t often see in containers — veggies.
Salad greens — lettuce, mustard, turnip, bok choi, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, etc — work great in pots because they grow quickly, don’t mind confined roots, and keep producing in the cool weather. And as the photo shows, not all greens are green. You can make striking combos of colors and textures by mixing in those with red, purple, yellow, and bluish foliage.
Grumpy was so inspired by Charlie’s work that he made a little fall veggie planter of his own using an old red plastic garden trug. It’s 13 inches tall, 17 inches wide, and holds 11 gallons of soil.
I combined some bright green Romaine lettuce with trailing Cool Wave pansies falling from the sides. It looks nice sitting on the porch and should last for months. The pansy flowers are edible and a nice way to dress up a salad.
Go forth and do likewise.