If you love making salads and garnish, growing your lettuce can cut your grocery budget tremendously and provide a constant fresh supply through the seasons. But if you’re growing your plants outdoors, you might find it challenging to get your favorite greens during winter.
Funtunately, lettuce is one of the easiest crops to grow indoors, allowing a steady supply of self-grown fresh veggies. And these fresh vegies cost next to nothing.
Growing Lettuce As Microgreens
Lettuce is an ideal plant for indoor gardening since it only requires mild temperatures to grow. When growing lettuce indoors, you can choose to have them as microgreens for use in salads, garnishes, toppings, and fillings in all kinds of sandwiches and wraps.
You can grow lettuce microgreens throughout the year, using locally available materials. The idea is to have nutrient-dense microgreens within 8-20 days after planting.
You will need:
- Lettuce seeds
- Small Growing trays: A simple grocery punnet container will work
- Growing medium: Mix 50/50 portions of organic potting soil with coconut coir
- Light: sunny windowsill light or Grow light
- Spray bottle
- Put some water into your punnet
- Place smooth soil mixture into the punnet and flatten the surface
- Spread the lettuce seed evenly on the soil
- Mist the soil with water using a spray bottle
- Use another punnet container to cover the seeds for 1-2 days to allow germination of the seeds
- Once the seeds begin germinating, place them under sufficient light from window sills, or grow light.
- Your microgreens should be ready for harvesting when their true leaves appear, usually within 8-20 days after planting. Use scissors to snip them off, ensuring that you don’t uproot the plant.
Growing Lettuce In Small Pots Or Repurposed Containers
If you’d love to have your lettuce grown to maturity, you can use small pots or repurposed containers. There two ways of growing lettuce indoors using these methods: You can either use seeds or regrow lettuce stems in water.
1. Growing Lettuce Indoors Using Potting Soil
- Small pots or repurposed containers
- Growing media: Mixture of pine bark, coconut coir, peat moss, perlite and vermiculite
- Sunlight from windows or Grow light
- Fill the pots or repurposed containers with pre-moistened potting soil
- Sprinkle the lettuce seeds over the potting soil. Don’t cover them
- Place the containers in a place with sufficient light
- Keep the soil moist but not saturated
- Apply organic liquid fertilizers for optimum growth
- Sow seeds in succession for a continuous supply of lettuce throughout the year
2. How To Regrow Lettuce In Water
- Lettuce stems that have been left over after cutting the leaves off
- Small pots or containers
- Place a trimmed stem in the container
- Add clean water into the container
- Place them stem near sunlight or grow lamps
- Replace the water every 1-2 days to keep away bacteria
- Using a clean, sharp knife, cut at the base to harvest.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Lettuce Indoors?
1. How Can I Provide Light For Lettuce To Grow Indoors?
- You can place the lettuce containers in a room with natural light or use artificial grow lights. You’ll need to rotate the growing containers regularly towards the light for optimum lettuce growth.
2. How Can I Time Succession Planting To Have An Ever-Ready Lettuce Supply?
- Succession planting allows you to have a constant supply of lettuce all year round and maximize your yields. Depending on your consumption needs, you can stagger planting the lettuce every 2-3 weeks or throughout the season.
3. What Are Some Indoor Lettuce Growing Tips?
- If you have to cover the lettuce seeds, only cover the lightly as they need light to germinate
- Lettuce seedlings need at least 6 hours of sunlight exposure
- When using grow lights, keep the fixtures at least 10 cm above the seedlings for 14 hours a day
- Keep the soil just moist and not soaking wet for optimum lettuce growth
- Use organic fertilizers such as fish emulsions and dose the plant after the true leaves appear. For the best quality and flavor, pick your lettuce early before they grow too big and start getting bitter and tough.
- For storage, wash the lettuce, shake them dry and wrap them in dry paper towels before refrigerating.
There You Have It!
With these indoor growing methods, there’s no reason not to grow more lettuce at home, and grow it faster throughout the year.
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