Saturday, August 13, 2022

Harvest Happenings — June 2020

Dr. Robert E. Moon

By Dr. Robert E. Moon,
Harvest Horticulturist

My wife knows how much I love to garden so she gifted me with a vertical garden so I could start early to plant salad greens and herbs. It has been a real hit for my family.

We just walk out the back door and harvest a fresh salad. This has been so much fun! You can cut the lettuce greens and arugula (all varieties) and plants will quickly regrow so you can have a continual source of salad.

If this piques your interest, go to to order a vertical garden (or Amazon)! These vertical gardens come in 4’ or 6’ height. Since mine was 6’, I also planted a few flowers to provide color and add interest. This was easy to assemble. The trays are sturdy plastic and I drilled holes for drainage as shown on the diagram provided. Make sure you drill the holes!

Once assembled, I added about 1-inch of gravel to the bottom to help with drainage. The instructions tell you how much soil is needed for each tray. I used Miracle Gro Potting Soil and filled tray to about 1” from top. I lightly firmed the soil so level would not sink.

As you can see from the photograph, I planted several types of lettuce, Ruby Leaf, Oak Leaf, Black Leaf, and Butter as well as Arugula. I also planted mint, sage and parsley.

The flowers were for fun and color. You can plant from seed or plants. I planted plants 4 to 6” apart on triangular spacing. The Miracle Gro Potting Soil has fertilizer in the soil. I suggest you continue to fertilize every 2 to 4 weeks with Miracle Gro Liquid All Purpose Plant Food.

Once seeded or planted, gently water the soil with low water pressure so you don’t blow out the seeds or dislodge the plants. Let plants grow until full and about 6 to 8 inches in height. Once mature, use your scissors to cut back the lettuce leaves to a height of 2 inches. You can harvest fresh lettuce weekly once they are vigorously growing. The herbs can be clipped as needed.

Continue to harvest the lettuce until we get into the heat of summer when it may start to die out. When that happens, convert your vertical garden to other summer vegetables or plant flowers. You can plant lettuce again in the fall. I am planning to have fun with my vertical garden so you might want to give it a try.

Happy Gardening!

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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