Last Saturday, I planted a late winter salad garden in my cold frame. It’s been six days and the radishes are already peeking out! The lettuce is not far behind. I also planted carrots, and spinach. All of these plants are ideal cool weather crops and will thrive, and have the best flavor, during this time of the year. Lettuce grown during the summer tends to bolt and taste bitter. That is, if you are able to grow it at all!
Salad crops are very low maintenance. All I have to do is keep the soil moist, open the cold frame lid during the day, and close the lid (vented about an inch) at night. Even though the outside temperatures are cool, it gets very hot in the cold frame during the day… especially in South Carolina. Even northern cold frame gardeners will need to vent their cold frames slightly during the day.
I decided to sow my salad garden seeds in soil bags this year. Not only is the bagged soil perfectly balanced, but it is also portable. After my lettuce garden expires, I will recycle the bagged soil and leftover greens in my traditional vegetable garden. Then, I will store the cold frames until fall when I will plant a new salad garden.
I created this video to show you how easy it is to plant lettuce in a cold frame using bags of soil. Watch it here!