Some seed coatings are designed to help the germination rate of seeds. In fact, it is one of the easiest crops to grow indoors. This will cool the plant down and hopefully squash any urges for the plant to bolt. You can learn more about plant nutrition here. Cutting the stem and not the head itself will help hold the head together and help extend the shelf life of the lettuce. A quick and easy crop to grow, Lettuce is ideal to grow both in containers and in the veg plot. Sometimes when you order seeds from a seed company, the information on the seed packet is limited. Lettuce can be grown in the shade or under larger crop plants that can provide it shade. The largest types of lettuce typically need above twice or thrice that (up to 18 inches). Use a professional soil mix for planting lettuce in container situations, as the mix is formulated to hold water and provide nutrients. Meaning, they need about 6 inches of free space around to grow. Once the soil has drained, place your seedlings in the container on top of the soil. You may have a hard time separating them and planting them far enough apart. They do not have to be too deep but a wider surface allows you to grow more lettuce.plants. Choose a lettuce mix marked “cut and come again” for repeat harvests. Before we delve deeper and look at some of the delicious varieties of lettuce you can sow now for fall, it’s helpful to discuss the different types of lettuce. Check to make sure that the flower pot has holes in the bottom for drainage. Once your seeds have sprouted, you can start fertilizing them. You can grow single heads in narrow pots, or grow multiple plants in a wide bowl. Many crop plants are grown for their fruits. You’re growing lettuce for the leaves, not the fruit. As soon as the lettuce are ready harvest by cutting for cos and cabbage varieties or by pulling the outer leaves of the loose-leaf varieties. Instead of buying prepared salad leaves, you can make your own to the way that you like it. Suitable salad greens for cut-and-come-again treatment include any of the looseleaf or mesclun blends, which might contain salads such as lettuce, endive, and arugula or rocket. Many of these smaller hydroponics systems can fit on a counter or tabletop. Heads of lettuce can be stored in containers with a little bit of water in the bottom to help prevent the plant from wilting. As a general rule of thumb, space seedlings 4 to 6 inches apart if you plan to harvest frequently. It’s always easier to add more water than to remove it. Luckily, lettuce is not a space-driven plant. I love that they offer more than one type of lettuce. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes in whatever container you chose. Because they have shallow roots, most lettuce varieties will grow well in long and shallow containers. Growing lettuce in containers is simple. Choose a good quality potting mix. A one-gallon container can hold 2-3 plants depending on the variety you choose. How to Grow Lettuce in Pots Lettuce is a cold season crop and that means it needs a cooler environment in order to grow. A clay pot provides a permeable surface that can evaporate any excess water and prevent soggy roots. Growing Lettuce in containers needs the right type of pot and planting medium. Sign up for our newsletter. Growing vegetables at home is a great way to reduce your grocery bill and ensure a steady supply of fresh, nutritious foods. Water your lettuce daily. Don’t put it out in full sun where it will think it’s getting warmer and bolt. You can eat the leaves of lettuce that has bolted, but it’s not going to taste good. Start by deciding how many plants you want in each of the pots. This causes the leaves to lose much of their nutritional value since nutrients are being pulled into the flowering parts of the plant. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Some of the leafy varieties can be cut multiple times since there isn’t a head to remove. Use a sharp knife or scissors to remove individual leaves from leafy lettuce. It doesn’t have to be super large as lettuce roots aren’t very deep. They do need at least 6 inches of soil … It is also super simple. Lettuce grows easily in containers, even alongside other plants, but needs at least 6 inches of soil depth to grow well. If you purchase seeds, not only will you save money, but your options will open up tremendously. It stands up on the plate rather than lying flat like traditional iceberg lettuce. It can allow an early start because the pots are brought indoors during light freezes and left outdoors during early spring days. of time release fertilizer per gallon of soil. Combat them with blasts of water or insecticidal soap; and for slugs, trap them with containers of beer. Some varieties of lettuce, like iceberg or butterhead will take up the most space. Fill the container 2/3 of the way full. Types of Lettuce. Then spritz the soil with water. The greens need a consistent supply of moisture as they are almost 95 percent water but cannot tolerate wet roots. Are you a fan of the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays? This means that once the head is ready to be harvested, you’ll cut it off and then replant in order to get more. To harvest heads of lettuce, you need a sharp knife. Use this as a guide to see how far apart your lettuce plants need to be. *Note- You may notice lettuce seeds are pink or another bright color when you open the seed packet. Growing lettuce in containers helps avoid the need to weed your garden, risk of bug infestation and other issues that can cause your lettuce to wilt, especially when grown outdoors. Lettuce is a great crop through fall, and container gardening works anywhere—especially small spaces! Lettuce is a cool season crop and leaves develop best in cool but not chill temperatures. Ideally, the temperature around your lettuce plants should be between 55-65 degrees at night and 65-75 degrees during the day. Seeded lettuce may be planted 2 to 3 weeks earlier. Cos and loose-headed types: Plant 8 inches apart. This really isn’t very different than what you would need to grow other crops, with the exception of a cool location. Mildew, leaf spot, rot and a variety of bacterial infections are common diseases that can attack lettuce. I mentioned that starting lettuce from seeds is the best way to go. Copyright ©2020, Farminence. 4. After you have planted the lettuce seeds, you’ll need to fill the pot the rest of the way with potting soil. All Rights Reserved. Look over your lettuce seedlings. A window box or raised bed is also a perfect location for growing lettuce. Leaf, romaine, iceberg, butterhead, and frisee are the most popular types of lettuce. It may sound like a new concept, but it’s been used for thousands of years. Growing lettuce indoors is surprisingly easy. Water the plant itself, thoroughly soaking the leaves to cool the plant off. It matures early and has soft leaves with a mild taste. Romaine lettuce creates a head, but instead of a rounded head, it creates an elongated head. Because of that, you’ll need to be able to thin your lettuce plants when the time comes. Lettuce has shallow roots and responds best to consistent, shallow watering. a miniature hydroponics system or aquaponics system, my FREE growing lettuce in containers tip sheet. Hydroponic gardening involves growing plants in water, without soil. Growing lettuce in containers also allows you to control weeds and pests more easily than in a large gardening space and affords quick access when you want some leaves for a salad. Lettuce loves relatively rich soil, although the plants will grow in ordinary soil as well. When growing lettuce in containers like wire baskets, it’s a good idea to incorporate some coconut coir to help with water retention, as the baskets tend to dry out quickly. Container growing lettuce is a common practice for small space gardeners such as apartment dwellers. TY. The size of the containers should be 6 to 12 inches deep, as lettuce roots need enough space … Many chefs today prefer to make salads with lettuce that has bold color and texture. If you don’t want to invest in an elaborate hydroponics or aquaponics system, try your hand at growing in regular containers or small-scale hydroponics systems. The fact that you don’t want it to bloom will determine the environment that the lettuce needs to grow in and the nutrients that it needs. There’s no soil to get the plants dirty, so harvesting and cleaning the lettuce heads is really simple. This is a question that always comes up. A general rule of thumb is to set transplants one every 4-6 inches. Lettuce leaves don’t mind getting wet, so don’t be shy about watering the entire plant and the soil around it. Lettuce is a cool season crop and leaves develop best in cool but not chill temperatures. Begin with clean containers with multiple drainage holes. Fill in the space around them with additional soil, making sure to cover the roots completely. several good reasons to sow your own seeds, commercial lettuce is grown hydroponically in greenhouses. Cut the outside leaves of loose lettuce when the leaves are young. Learn everything you need to know about growing lettuce in containers here! Smaller lettuce varieties can be grown around these larger varieties to make the most out of your container space. This is especially true if you’re growing lettuce in containers. This is probably the most traditional indoor way of growing lettuce. Transplants should be planted near the last frost-free date for the growing area. deep and 4 to 12 inches (10-30 cm.) Don’t pack the soil over the seed. When you grow these kinds of vegetables, you want to induce them to bloom and produce large amounts of fruits that you can harvest. Lettuce plants need to think that it’s winter to prevent them from bolting. Instead, plant a few the first week, then a week later plant a few more. Lettuce is one of those plants that grows quickly, so it’s fun to watch it grow. Not only will you learn how to grow vegetables, but you’ll learn all the ins and outs to get started with a successful container garden EVEN IF YOU HAVE A BROWN THUMB! Should you sow seeds or plant seedlings? To view my affiliate disclaimer, click here. You can expect romaine lettuce to last a little longer in the refrigerator since it creates a head. pots. Lettuce can be grown in many types of containers, including containers that don’t even have soil in them. When planting lettuce in containers, you’ll need to provide a soil depth of at least four inches for the lettuce roots to expand into. Lettuce seeds are very small, which makes them hard to see and handle. Today we'll show you how to grow lettuce in pots or containers so you can enjoy lettuce no matter how big or small your space is! Normal flower pots can be used to grow lettuce. Lettuce is different. Your chosen location must also be a safe one. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grow salad greens in containers for fresh, young leaves in a matter of weeks. Butterhead lettuce falls somewhere in between iceberg and leaf lettuce when it comes to appearance. You will only need a standard potting soil, a little bit of water and plenty of sunlight. Understanding the plant can go a long way in helping you to be successful when growing it. This practice maximizes, gives better control from pests and at the same time gives access to a whole host of varieties that you will never find in you local grocery store. Picture a wrung out dish sponge… That’s what your soil should feel like. Instead, fill the container and thoroughly wet the soil. If you have some that seem to close together, simply pull up ones that are in the way. Don’t worry about being exact, just be sure they have plenty of room. The leaves of frisee are very curly and usually vibrantly green. Once harvested, you can clean it up and eat it right away. Growing lettuce in containers is one of the easiest vegetables for container gardens. Growing lettuce in pots is an ideal way to have fresh greens at your fingertips, whether you live in a house or an apartment! Place one seed into the hole and gently cover it. Find out more information or to grab your copy here: Vegetable Gardening in Containers. You could also add some vermiculite or perlite for water retention. Planting seeds weekly will make sure that you don’t run out of lettuce. Seeds are sown when soils are not frozen, ½ inch (1 cm.) You need a soil that can hold water and provide nutrients. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. For fans of the textured and colorful lettuce, you’ll most definitely want to grow your lettuce from seeds so that you have plenty of options. Lettuce does need a lot of room for growth, but can easily … Choose a fertilizer with equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Growing lettuces in containers require care from leaf eating insects. You can easily grow lettuce indoors in pots, growing trays or even miniature hydroponics systems. Lettuce grows well in small spaces, and you can have fresh salads all summer long if you have space for just a few pots. The soil should stay moist but not damp. Make sure it has drainage holes. Wet and drain the soil like you would for planting seeds. I like to pull up the smaller seedlings that look less vigorous and leave the stronger looking plants. Prepare containers which correspond in size to your lettuce stump. As a general rule of thumb, lettuce heads will need 6-12″ of space per plant in a container. Too much water can cause root rot. How to grow lettuce in containers Choose a pot at least six inches deep. All it needs are a standard potting soil, a little bit of water and lots of sunlight. You may notice some spaces where the soil around the plant sinks and exposes the roots. However, if the plants are healthy there are fewer chances of infestation of pests or diseases. Growing lettuce is containers is a common practice fur urban gardeners. Then you’ll want to fill the pot ¾ of the way with potting soil. Lettuce is a really popular vegetable that is really easy to grow. Growing lettuce using hydroponics and aquaponics is an efficient way of growing lettuce, but it’s not the only way. Using your knife, cut through the stem just below the head of lettuce. Let’s just visualize something for a moment. Compost and peat are rich enough in organic matter to be an ideal soil mix. I planted lettuce in large tub type containers and shortly after they sprout they die. If you plant lettuce in a space that is warm (>68 degrees F), then you’ll find that your lettuce bolts. This makes a difference in how you grow lettuce. Firm-headed types: Plant 16 inches apart. This means that you want to grow it when temperatures are cool, not warm. You’ll be watering your lettuce every day and you don’t want excess water sitting in the soil. Leafy lettuce can be harvested a little at a time. You may also see kale, spinach, radicchio and endives occasionally referred to as lettuce types. To grow cut-and-come-again salad greens you will need good-quality potting soil, some seeds and, of course, a container with drainage holes. For those of you that prefer more traditional types of lettuce like iceberg or romaine, then you’ll still probably want to grow lettuce from seeds just because of the price factor. Think tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelons. Some of them are designed for intensive greenhouse growing systems, but you can find smaller hydroponic systems. Not good for that large chef salad that you had in mind. If you don’t have a Ruby Tuesdays near you, then you’re missing out. See our article with three simple steps, accompanied with a … All the varieties of lettuce grow well in containers, you should select a right type with good material. It makes much more sense to pay $3.00 for a package of ~40 seeds than it does to pay $3.00 and get two lettuce seedlings. Once your soil has been wetted and drained, you can plant your lettuce. It’s an excellent plant to grow with children (or impatient adults) because it’s almost instant satisfaction. Crowded plants are prone to problems in vegetable beds, and the problems only get worse in containers. You can find the tip sheet here: Get my free growing lettuce in container tip sheet! There are tons of hydroponic systems that you can grow lettuce in. In this case, you can refer to the seed company’s catalog or website to determine how far apart to space plants. Your email address will not be published. The first thing that comes to mind is maybe your soil is not draining properly and your lettuce is dampening off. If you’re serious about growing lettuce in containers, then you’ll want to grab a copy of my ebook Vegetable Gardening in Containers. ‘Set’ AGM:A crisphead lettuce, this is easy to grow and produces large, solid hearts with crisp green leaves. Lettuce needs ample room for roots but you can grow several varieties in 6 to 12 inch (15-30 cm.) A bolted plant will start putting all of its energy and nutrients into flowering and not into the leaves of the plant. There are so many types of lettuce to grow and home grown is so much fresher than the supermarket bags of lettuce, which seem to have a short shelf life. Problems in vegetable beds, and the problems only get worse in containers with a few of. 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