Welcome to Lowe's
Find a Store

Prices, promotions, styles, and availability may vary. Our local stores do not honor online pricing. Prices and availability of products and services are subject to change without notice. Errors will be corrected where discovered, and Lowe's reserves the right to revoke any stated offer and to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions including after an order has been submitted.

Northwest Gardening: Salad Bowl in a Pot

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

For a harvest of salad greens, plant a metal washtub with lettuce. Lowe’s Northwest gardening contributor shows how.

lettuce in metal tub

By Marianne Binetti

Growing your own lettuce in a metal washtub or half whiskey barrel is a surefire way to enjoy fresh green salads, even if your only outdoor space is a balcony or deck. By planting red and green lettuce in a spiral pattern and repurposing a pair of wooden salad servers as plant labels, you can enjoy your salad days and have an attractive container garden too.

potting soil bag sitting in tub

First, gather your supplies. I used a metal washtub with nail holes punched into the bottom because the shape reminds me of a giant bowl of salad. This organic potting soil won’t need any extra fertilizer—a slow-release plant food is mixed into the soil. Rather than wait for seeds to sprout, I went with instant gratification and took home a flat of red leaf lettuce and green lettuce already started.

string on soil in spiral

Next, I used a string to lay out the design. I made a spiral pattern by pushing the string into the damp soil. A pencil in the center acted as my guide.

red leaf lettuce and string

This way I knew right where to place the red leaf lettuce so the planting pattern was a spiral. The contrast of green and red lettuce gave the finished planting a more decorative look.

lettuce in tub planted

The green leaf lettuce filled in between the spiral planting to fill up the rest of the container.  This design would have looked even better if there were more of a color contrast between the two types of lettuce—or maybe even a spiral of green onion starts surrounded by red leaf lettuce.

close-up of salad mix sign

Finally I added a “salad mix” sign made by painting the words on a pair of repurposed wooden salad servers. Labeling your edible crops is a good way to remind others to keep pesticides away—especially when plants are at the tiny seedling stage and can look like weeds.

Harvesting Tip: Use scissors to cut and then cut again when you need fresh greens for your salads. As long as you leave an inch or so of rooted lettuce, the plants resprout all summer. Lettuce likes cool, moist soil, and this is one crop you can grow in a partly shaded site.

So what else do you grow for salads? Repurpose a container and get planting!

Regional Guide to Growing Edibles in Containers

Container gardening isn’t just about flowers. You can grow plenty of vegetables, herbs, and fruit in containers.

Learn More

Northwest Gardening

Dig into one of the most fruitful places to garden: The Northwest.

Learn More

Gardening & Planting Tips by Region

Check out a variety of garden ideas, plans, articles, videos and projects for your region. No matter what region you live in, Lowe's has garden tips for you.

Learn More