Around 80% of United States residents live in what is considered an urban area. Unfortunately, that means that many of us don't have easy access to plots of land to grow a garden on… some of us don't even have so much as a balcony for an herb garden ! At least that's what most people think… did you know that you can grow a garden inside your home? You can save money and grow delicious foods without ever leaving the comfort of your couch!
Read on to see how to grow lettuce indoors!
Survival Gardening – How To Grow Lettuce Indoors
One of the easiest vegetables to grow indoors is lettuce! Iceberg, romaine, and leaf lettuce are among the most popular (and easy to grow) choices for indoor gardens. In this article, we will discuss two great ways to grow lettuce indoors.
I’ll take you step by step and you’ll have the perfect indoor lettuce garden in no time! I will also go over how to care for your indoor lettuce garden. Let’s get started!
1. Growing Lettuce From Lettuce Scraps
This process of growing lettuce is super easy! It’ll make a fun project for the whole family!
What you’ll need:
- Romaine lettuce
- Shallow container
- Remove the core from the lettuce, which will be the bottom three inches.
- Add water to your shallow container.
- Add toothpicks to the bottom of the lettuce core. This will elevate the lettuce and allow circulation.
- Place the lettuce core into the shallow container. Once the lettuce is placed inside the container, ⅓ of the lettuce core should be covered with water.
- Set the container in a place where it will receive plenty of sunlight such as a window sill.
After a few days, you will see new growth in the center of the lettuce! On day 5 or 6 you will notice the lettuce growing at a faster rate. Between day 12-14 you will notice the lettuce leaves turning a darker and richer color. At this time, you will also see that the roots are starting to sprout. These are indications that the lettuce is ready to be planted into soil.
If you are interested in other vegetables that you can regrow from scraps, then check out 16 Sustainable Gardening Foods That Re-Grow From Scraps for more information.
2. How To Grow Lettuce From Seed In Flower Pots
This method of growing lettuce indoors is also super easy!
First, you’re going to choose a pot for your lettuce, which doesn’t have to be that big due to the fact that lettuce roots will only reach about six inches when planted into a pot. When lettuce is planted into the ground, their roots can grow up to 17-21 inches.
Next, comes the soil and lettuce seeds. Fill the pot with soil about ¾ of the way up. Plant the lettuce seeds and cover with soil. Due to the seeds being so tiny, you will need to possibly thin out the plant as it grows.
Place your potted lettuce plants on a window sill to ensure they receive plenty of sunlight. Seedlings need about 14-16 hours of sunlight a day to ensure healthy leaf growth. You may need to invest in a grow light to ensure that they have this amount of light per day.
Try to keep the room temperature at a steady 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. If possible, keep the room temperature at about 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit at night. These temperatures will help imitate their natural habitat.
3. Caring For Your Lettuce Plants
Seedlings should be watered every other day to keep the soil moist. Do not saturate the soil as this can cause root rot and/or fungal disease. More mature lettuce plants should be watered every 3 days.
Make sure to rotate your lettuce plants about a ¼ turn about every 2 days. This will help your lettuce plants to have an even distribution of sunlight.
Fertilizing is important! When you grow lettuce from seed, distribute a tiny amount of compost (about a ⅛ – ¼ cup) on the first day of planting and reapply a small amount (about ¼ -½ cup) about every 7-10 days. Of course, the more they mature, the more compost you may apply to their soil but, don’t over do it.
4. Harvesting Your Lettuce
As soon as the lettuce leaves reach a size you like, harvest the outer leaves. Never harvest the inner leaves so they can continue to grow. Immature and mature lettuce both have good flavor. It is just a matter of preference on the size of lettuce leaves you want for your meal.
If you want to harvest the entire head of lettuce you should wait 4-6 weeks for it to mature completely. Fully matured lettuce can produce seed rather quickly so be sure to harvest before this process begins because once it reaches this point, it will have a bitter taste.
Watch this video by Khang Starr on how to grow lettuce indoors:
If you have had success with an indoor lettuce garden, we would love to hear from you!
Check out these other great gardening articles so you can have the perfect survival garden this year!