Last week I was walking through my local produce store and saw that they were selling “snip ‘n gro” salad colanders for $15.99. What a cool idea, right?! So, I thought it would be fun to put together a perpetual salad colander as a super useful and easy DIY Mother’s Day gift this week. (Or hey: Just make one for your own patio or as an easy way to garden in small spaces.)
Mr. 10 helped me with this experiment, and is responsible for the Happy Mother’s Day banner & LEGO plane addition. We just taped the sign to a chopstick, then stuck it in the perpetual salad colander for easy gift giving! Look for old colanders at thrift stores or at garage sales; they don’t have to be in perfect condition as long as they have good drainage.
Notes on how to grow lettuce in a colander
Just a few notes before we get started:
- It would be much more cost effective to start one of these from seed, which I’ll do next year — but I just used plants here to show you how the finished product would look.
- I probably also could have crammed another plant or two in the colander for a fuller look, but wanted to leave the lettuce some room to grow and wasn’t sure how many would fit well. I’ll likely add some chives or parsley here to fill it out more.
- My colander had pretty small holes — if the one you find has larger ones, you might want to line it with something like large plastic baggies poked with holes or with coffee filters to prevent the soil from washing out when you water it.
This little DIY lettuce container garden is also a fun idea for an apartment balcony or other areas where you don’t have a lot of room for a full garden, and can be an easy frugal homemade project if you start it from seed.
Perpetual Salad Colander, Step-by-Step
First, assemble your supplies. You will need:
- An old colander
- Some gravel
- Potting soil
- A trowel or large spoon
- Various lettuce plants (or seeds).
How many plants depends on the size of your colander and how full you want it to be.
Add gravel to the bottom of your colander, then add potting soil. If you’re sowing seeds, just fill the colander; if you’re planting plants, just start with a layer.
If you’re using plants, arrange them in the colander and then fill in around them with potting soil. If you’re using seeds, sow them directly in the potting soil.
Carefully water your perpetual lettuce garden.
If giving as a gift, add your marker or sign to your perpetual salad colander. (Use a chopstick or other small stick here — and yes, from this angle I’m definitely going to add in something else to fill out the space here. Once it stops raining today. 😉 )
Place your colander on a table or stand on your patio, and water occasionally.
Harvest leaves from the outside of the lettuce plants, and enjoy fresh salads from your perpetual salad colander all summer long!