8 Creative Ideas for Growing Your Own Salad Greens in Containers

lettuce garden container
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Adding salad greens to your diet can help you get more of the nutrients and fiber you need to stay healthy. Leafy greens such as lettuce, romaine, arugula, and kale are low in calories, which is helpful if you're trying to manage your weight and keep diseases like diabetes and heart disease in check. Luckily, it's easy to grow lettuce and other fresh greens in containers, large and small. Here are some creative ideas to get you started.

01 of 08

Wagon Planter

wagon blue flowers purple
Peter Krumhardt

Grow a movable feast! Try growing your spring greens in an old wagon. Top plants for homegrown salads such as leaf lettuce, Romaine, butterhead, and baby greens thrive in a sunny spot while the weather is cool in spring or fall. The wagon is easy to move to shady spots as summer heats up, allowing you to extend your lettuce season. Drill a few holes in the bottom of the wagon so excess water can drain away. Otherwise, too much moisture could build up and cause root rot.

02 of 08

Colorful Bucket Containers

plants pots summer clothes pins
William Hopkins

A single lettuce plant can be beautiful on its own, but downright stunning when grown in a bright container. If you don't want to invest in new pots, try revamping your existing pots with new paint or stamped designs. Here, plain plastic pots of lettuce are nestled inside simple painted buckets and hung in a cool, sunny window for an extra-early start on the season. After watering, the buckets can be unclipped and emptied so the plants don't sit in a pool of moisture.

03 of 08

Wooden Box Planter

lettuce garden container
Westend61/Getty Images

Be creative when choosing containers. Reuse an old fruit crate or purchase a wooden crate to plant a few lettuces. You can even make your own crate planter, if you're up for a DIY project. When building wooden containers, start with cedar or another weather-resistant lumber. And always add drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out.

04 of 08

Galvanized Bucket Planter

flowers planter outside garden
Bill Holt

Fill a galvanized bucket with fresh spring greens and edible flowers for a simple but tasty work of art. Here, purple violas contrast beautifully with the patina of the bucket, while also accentuating the purple flecks on the lettuce growing with it. Plus, those pretty petals will add a splash of color to your salad bowl.

05 of 08

Galvanized Tub Planter

tin flowers plants garden
Kim Cornelison

Though they're called greens, spring salad plants can be anything but. A galvanized tub ($50, Lehman's) is the perfect size for experimenting with a variety of beautiful lettuces, such as eye-catching ones with red or bronze leaves. The tub will also give your landscape a little vintage charm.

06 of 08

Basket Planters

red planter plants indoor
William Hopkins

A simple wire basket ($27, Wayfair) lined with burlap and a colorful bandana makes it easy to grow a whole salad in one tight spot. You could even turn it into a hanging basket to add vertical interest and maximize your growing space.

07 of 08

Coffee Mug Planter

mug planter plant coffee cup
Maura McEvoy

Using an old coffee mug or soup bowl to grow an extra lettuce plant or two makes an adorable addition to any kitchen. Just set it in a cool, bright spot indoors to get an early start on the salad season. It's best to drill a hole in the container's bottom first or use a cracked bowl or mug so excess water can escape. Then, fill with potting soil and either sow seeds directly in your mug or bowl, or transplant already growing lettuce into it.

08 of 08

Kitchen Containers

plant green pot planter
William Hopkins

For a fun spring hostess gift or a unique tabletop garden, use copper gelatin molds to make dazzling containers for various lettuces. You can either drill drainage holes in the bottom of the containers or keep the lettuces in smaller plastic pots that fit into the molds so they still can be used for their original purpose.

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