Plan now for those winter salads

Winter salad greens can be as close to your fingertips as a porch or patio with a southern exposure. A wooden apple box, window box, or any fair-sized sturdy container can be your garden spot. These winter gardens can produce a continual supply of Swiss chard, beets, onions, lecture, radishes, and the compact Chinese cabbage, or any cool-weather vegetables you may prefer.

To be on the safe side, if you live in the frost and freezing areas of the US , place a heat cable in the bottom of the box or container. Saving the cost of winter-fresh vegetables will pay for the cable before the snow flies.

Removable plastic tents also are a precaution against unseasonable harsh weather. A-shaped tents, which allow from 6 to 8 inches of headroom for most plants, are, ample.

Long days of sunshine are not needed for spring or cool-weather vegetables. All the box gardens will need is a little liquid fertilizer or a manure or compost tea added to each crop as the seeds sprout. To aid in sprouting you should soak the seeds for 48 hours in kitchen-temperature water before planting.

To be sure your garden containers are clean and insect-free, spray-drench with a solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and one teaspoon of liquid bleach to one quart of water.

The idea bottom bed to your box garden is three to four inches of aged manure topped off with four inches of rich garden loam. Three tablespoon of balanced ( 5-10-10) garden fertilizer can be used if manure is not available to you, mixing the fertilizer well into the bottom half of the entire soil mix.

Plant the seed according to the packet instructions, water slightly, and in a few weeks you can enjoy the treat of garden-fresh soup and salad vegetables.

Work out a continual planting program to meet your future needs, keep an eye on the weather, protect your crop, and you can become your own winter greengrocer.

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