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Our guide to growing salad greens at home

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

kale growing

Permaculture teaches us to connect and interact with the environment in sustainable ways. Its principles can be used in all aspects of our lives, but when it’s applied to growing food, it helps us to create resilient & self-sufficient gardens that provide plants with the sunlight, nutrients & water that they need.

Freshly eaten, home-grown food produces far less greenhouse gas emissions than store bought produce. This is because home grown veggies use less water and carbon-based fertiliser, as well as reduced emissions from packaging and transport.

So why not make friends with salad & start growing greens at home?

Choosing what to grow

Silverbeet and rocket are some of the easiest things to grow, and make for great additions to stir fries and salads. Spinach, kale, lettuce and bok choy are also a good place to start as they grow all year round and can be regularly harvested.

Getting the essential mix right


Different plants need different amounts of light. Salad greens do well in a north facing location (if you’re in the southern hemisphere) with at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight every day, with a bit of shelter filtering out the afternoon sun.


Having a tap or other water source nearby will make your life a lot easier in the long run. You can reuse grey water from the washing machine or sink if you use specific, grey water safe soap.


Getting the right balance of carbon and nitrogen in your soil is the key to growing healthy plants. Too much of one or the other makes it hard for plants to thrive.

Earthworm in soil

Hot tip: If your soil looks a bit lifeless, you can use soil improver and other products like peat moss and organic compost. These can be bought, but if you have a backyard, it can also be found there for free! Under a tree, where there are lots of leaves, there’ll be a thin layer of soil that’s naturally composted, called hummus, that you can take and add to your garden bed.

One Small Step's totally free Growing Greens 101 course is an interactive step-by-step guide to growing greens at home!

One Small Step Growing Greens 101 program

Here's what our free Growing Greens 101 in-app course will take you through:

  1. Preparing your garden - Understand the principles of permaculture, choose the right location for your crop and get your soil tip top.

  2. Sowing the crop - Discover where to get seedlings, get a step-by-step guide for planting your greens as well as a maintenance guide for keeping your greens happy and healthy - and keeping pesky pests away!

  3. Harvesting and cooking your greens - Learn the best way to harvest your greens so that they become the gift that keeps on giving all year round! And get some yummy recipes for cooking your harvest.

Download the app and take the Growing Greens 101 course today!

Illustration of person planting seedling in garden

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