The Great No-Space-No-Full-Sun Grow Your Own Salad Garden Challenge

If attendance at last weekend’s Grow Your Own Salad Garden class is any indicator, there’s no shortage of Slow Food fans with get-out-in-the-garden fever! Instructors Maggie Goeglein Hanna, Executive Director of Fall Creek Gardens, and Julie Iverson, Advanced Master Gardener, welcomed our full-up class with cheerful enthusiasm and set about making us into gardeners.

No yard? No problem! Maggie and Julie taught us how to create container gardens that can keep even the most passionate salad lover in greens, veggies, herbs and even edible flowers for the better part of the year. They shared photos of their own container gardens and provided us with lists of plants to consider plus lots of great beginner tips. Not only that, they gave us some fabulous ideas for putting together creative, healthful, and beautiful salads, complete with recipes for salad dressings made with homemade flavored or infused oils and vinegars. They even invited class members to assist them in putting together a stunning fresh salad for us all to enjoy.

As added perks, we all left the class with a great reference list of helpful books, magazines and local gardening resources, plus free packets of seeds graciously donated by The Garden Center at 3205 W. 71st Street. What better way to get the gardening season off and running?

So, what did I do? I immediately went out and bought more seeds. Now, I have to back up here and explain that I only have a small patio, which only gets a few hours of sun against a south-facing wall. I definitely do not get enough sun to grow tomatoes (God knows I’ve tried), but I’m hoping I can eke out some salad greens, chard, kale, and a few herbs. What’s more, I am about to up-cycle an old baker’s rack into a garden rack that can hold tiers of containers against the aforementioned wall. And I just read a tip about painting walls in a less than full sun area white, to reflect the light. In my case, since I can’t paint the wall, I’m going to try creating some white folding screens and putting those behind the plants to catch and reflect the sun back at them.

So, can I conquer the no-space-no-full-sun blues? Stay tuned, gardening fans, and we’ll see!

About the Author
Lorrie Wehr is an Indianapolis writer and sometimes-artist who believes sharing good food is the key to a good life.