growing lettuce in containers

There are three main types of leaf lettuce: red, oak and green. Join the Farminence community to get exclusive tips and information that only the Farminence community receives. Growing Lettuce in containers needs the right type of pot and planting medium. Then you’ll want to fill the pot ¾ of the way with potting soil. When you grow these kinds of vegetables, you want to induce them to bloom and produce large amounts of fruits that you can harvest. Buy now Use a professional soil mix for planting lettuce in container situations, as the mix is formulated to hold water and provide nutrients. As the lettuce grows you harvest the leaves as needed. I love that they offer more than one type of lettuce. Once the seedlings are nestled in place, give them a good watering. In my experience, there isn’t much difference on a small scale between coated seeds or non-coated seeds when it comes to germination. Lettuce seeds are very small, which makes them hard to see and handle. Growing lettuce in containers necessitates that you use a good quality soil. 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! Use this as a guide to see how far apart your lettuce plants need to be. You’ll be watering your lettuce every day and you don’t want excess water sitting in the soil. Leafy lettuce or lettuce that has been cut up will wilt quicker, so plan on using it within a few days of harvesting. Growing lettuce in pots is an ideal way to have fresh greens at your fingertips, whether you live in a house or an apartment! 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. The most important resource when growing lettuce in containers is water. 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. This is especially true if you’re growing lettuce in containers. How to grow lettuce in containers Choose a pot at least six inches deep. If you find that growing lettuce isn’t your thing, you can always reuse this equipment to grow other crops, herbs or flowers. Choose a lettuce mix marked “cut and come again” for repeat harvests. apart. Should you sow seeds or plant seedlings? Let the water drain out before doing anything else. Cos and loose-headed types: Plant 8 inches apart. If you can, start with a premium potting mix for veggies like Miracle-Gro® Potting Mix that feeds your plants for their entire growing life.Fill up the container almost to the top, leaving a … If you’re interested in hydroponic growing, check out this post that will answer your questions about the basics of hydroponics. There are numerous pest that enjoy lettuce as much as you do. With that being said, lettuce seeds are TINY. Put potting mix into your containers. Compost and peat are rich enough in organic matter to be an ideal soil mix. Don’t plant all of your seeds at once. Many of these smaller hydroponics systems can fit on a counter or tabletop. Lettuce has a short term but plentiful yield and requires minimal care. Lettuce can be grown in the shade or under larger crop plants that can provide it shade. Growing lettuce indoors is surprisingly easy. Leaf lettuce can be highly textured and vibrantly colored. In fact, it is one of the easiest crops to grow indoors. Your email address will not be published. Prepare containers which correspond in size to your lettuce stump. 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! ‘Tom Thumb’:A small butterhead lettuce perfect for growing in small spaces. a miniature hydroponics system or aquaponics system, my FREE growing lettuce in containers tip sheet. Lettuce is different. ‘Nymans’ AGM:A Cos lettuce with deep read outer leaves and a rich green heart. 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. They do need at least 6 inches of soil … This is the lettuce that you usually find in a spring lettuce mix. When you’re filling your container, don’t fill it to the top. Think tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelons. If you purchase seeds, not only will you save money, but your options will open up tremendously. When growing lettuce in containers, remember that loose leaf and romaine need less space than head or stalk lettuces. Lettuce is one of those plants that grows quickly, so it’s fun to watch it grow. Lettuce leaves don’t mind getting wet, so don’t be shy about watering the entire plant and the soil around it. Start by deciding how many plants you want in each of the pots. Luckily, lettuce is not a space-driven plant. Lettuce is so easy to grow that people consider it … Fill the container 2/3 of the way full. Growing lettuces in containers require care from leaf eating insects. For either seeded or transplanted lettuce, have 12 to 15 inches between each row. They have the best salad bar with so many options. 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. Firm-headed types: Plant 16 inches apart. Find out more information or to grab your copy here: Vegetable Gardening in Containers. Some varieties of lettuce, like iceberg or butterhead will take up the most space. ‘Set’ AGM:A crisphead lettuce, this is easy to grow and produces large, solid hearts with crisp green leaves. You’re probably thinking “…so?”. In this article, growing your own salad leave mixes in containers have been discussed. You can purchase cultivars that are less likely to bolt, but it’s still a good idea to keep lettuce in a cool location. Growing lettuce is containers is a common practice fur urban gardeners. Lettuce is a cool season crop and leaves develop best in cool but not chill temperatures. The soil should stay moist but not damp. The first thing that comes to mind is maybe your soil is not draining properly and your lettuce is dampening off. 4. Most lettuce varieties are one-cut varieties. Meaning, they need about 6 inches of free space around to grow. Transplants should be buried ¼ inch (0.5 cm.) Once the soil has drained, place your seedlings in the container on top of the soil. Although a romaine lettuce can grow in containers as small as a 4-inch pot, growth is optimum in larger containers where the soil doesn't dry as fast and there's room for root growth. When you purchase seeds, the seed packet should tell you how far apart to space the plants. I don’t know about you, but the lettuce seedlings that I’ve seen in my local garden centers are few and far between. The soil around your lettuce plants also needs to stay moist to help the plant think that it’s winter. Combat them with blasts of water or insecticidal soap; and for slugs, trap them with containers of beer. You can expect romaine lettuce to last a little longer in the refrigerator since it creates a head. Romaine lettuce creates a head, but instead of a rounded head, it creates an elongated head. Container growing lettuce is a common practice for small space gardeners such as apartment dwellers. Choosing a Container A broad, shallow container works well for growing butter lettuce indoors. This is a question that always comes up. It is also super simple. Lettuce that you’re not eating right away can be stored in the refrigerator. You can eat the leaves of lettuce that has bolted, but it’s not going to taste good. Copyright ©2020, Farminence. Even a day or two of warm temperatures will cause lettuce to shoot up and become bitter. I’ll share my 20+ years of agriculture knowledge with you so that you can feel comfortable raising livestock, gardening, preserving food and cooking delicious meals from scratch. 10-10-10 fertilizer is an excellent choice for growing lettuce. Cut at least 3 inches from the root base and set the stump aside. You can grow single heads in narrow pots, or grow multiple plants in a wide bowl. Container growing lettuce is a common practice for small space gardeners such as apartment dwellers. How to Grow Lettuce in Pots Lettuce is a cold season crop and that means it needs a cooler environment in order to grow. By growing … Not to mention the fact that you can purchase prepared lettuce for that much without having to grow it! Lettuce has shallow roots and responds best to consistent, shallow watering. Sometimes when you order seeds from a seed company, the information on the seed packet is limited. Some of the leafy varieties can be cut multiple times since there isn’t a head to remove. Wash used pots in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Don’t pack the soil over the seed. Also, limit the amount of direct sunlight that your lettuce gets. It may sound like a new concept, but it’s been used for thousands of years. Lettuce plants thrive in soil that is rich. Once harvested, you can clean it up and eat it right away. This means that you want to grow it when temperatures are cool, not warm. A quick and easy crop to grow, Lettuce is ideal to grow both in containers and in the veg plot. Some seed coatings are designed to help the germination rate of seeds. Heads of lettuce can be stored in containers with a little bit of water in the bottom to help prevent the plant from wilting. Smaller lettuce varieties can be grown around these larger varieties to make the most out of your container space. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! All it needs are a standard potting soil, a little bit of water and lots of sunlight. Before we get into how exactly you’ll grow lettuce, let’s talk about the plant itself. Lettuce needs ample room for roots but you can grow several varieties in 6 to 12 inch (15-30 cm.) The containers must be kept in a warm sunny position and as the lettuce plants are 90% water and hence need a lot of water to grow you must never let the soil dry out. It also changes the flavor and texture of the leaves. It’s super crunchy and can keep for up to two weeks in a refrigerator. Lettuce crops don’t take up much real estate vertically, but they do take up considerable space around them. Learn everything you need to know about growing lettuce in containers here! Pick a spot away from active heat sources and cold drafts, and inaccessible to mischievous, hungry pets. Romaine lettuce is crunchy and is the main lettuce in most Caesar salads. You can find the tip sheet here: Get my free growing lettuce in container tip sheet! A bolted plant will start putting all of its energy and nutrients into flowering and not into the leaves of the plant. You could also add some vermiculite or perlite for water retention. Lettuce ‘bolts’ or shoots up and blooms when the weather is warm enough. 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Lettuce is no exception and is an easy to grow crop that anyone can grow successfully. Instead of buying prepared salad leaves, you can make your own to the way that you like it. Lettuce loves relatively rich soil, although the plants will grow in ordinary soil as well. In fact, when I have seen them, they are often more expensive than purchasing a ready-to-eat head of lettuce, which defeats the purpose for me. You may have a hard time separating them and planting them far enough apart. The coating makes it easier to work with them. Let’s just visualize something for a moment. If you don’t have a Ruby Tuesdays near you, then you’re missing out. A soil mix is usually peat or compost, soil, and either vermiculite or perlite for water retention. Even if you’re growing them in small containers, you’ll have to ensure they have enough space to thrive. It’s always easier to add more water than to remove it. In order to get a steady supply of lettuce, stagger your plantings. Types of lettuce. Find small hydroponics systems for growing lettuce here. Once your soil has been wetted and drained, you can plant your lettuce. You need a soil that can hold water and provide nutrients. Types of Lettuce. Thinning lettuce plants is simple. *Note- You may notice lettuce seeds are pink or another bright color when you open the seed packet. This causes the leaves to lose much of their nutritional value since nutrients are being pulled into the flowering parts of the plant. This makes a difference in how you grow lettuce. Because leaf lettuce doesn’t make a head, it doesn’t last as long once it’s harvested. Leaf lettuces can be closer together than head types. This is due to a colored coating that seed companies put around the seeds. Use a sharp knife or scissors to remove individual leaves from leafy lettuce. If you’re serious about growing lettuce in containers, then you’ll want to grab a copy of my ebook Vegetable Gardening in Containers. Location is important for growing lettuce. After you have planted the lettuce seeds, you’ll need to fill the pot the rest of the way with potting soil. Lettuce can be grown in many types of containers, including containers that don’t even have soil in them. 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. This will cool the plant down and hopefully squash any urges for the plant to bolt. Don’t worry about being exact, just be sure they have plenty of room. Lettuce is a cool season crop and leaves develop best in cool but not chill temperatures. For seeds, simply use your finger to poke a hole to the proper depth (varies with variety of lettuce, but usually 1/4″- 1/2″). Don’t pack the potting mix down. When growing lettuce in containers or window boxes, set the plants out on 4-6” (10-15 cm) centers, or thin plants to this spacing. Using your knife, cut through the stem just below the head of lettuce. There are so many colors and textures that you can create a lettuce container that is attractive. A general rule of thumb is to set transplants one every 4-6 inches. Because they have shallow roots, most lettuce varieties will grow well in long and shallow containers. Leaf lettuce needs less space than head lettuce so more plants can grow in the container. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Heads of lettuce can take up as much as 12″ of space, so you’ll need to plan accordingly. The largest types of lettuce typically need above twice or thrice that (up to 18 inches). The greens need a consistent supply of moisture as they are almost 95 percent water but cannot tolerate wet roots. It matures early and has soft leaves with a mild taste. Are you a fan of the salad bar at Ruby Tuesdays? Lettuce plants can be grown in many types of containers and potting media. For the best outcome, lettuce plants need to be grown with night temperatures between 55-65 degrees F and day temperatures between 65-75 degrees. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to grow salad greens in containers for fresh, young leaves in a matter of weeks. Cutting the stem and not the head itself will help hold the head together and help extend the shelf life of the lettuce. Plants grown in the garden need at least an inch per week; lettuce in pots need a bit more. As a general rule of thumb, lettuce heads will need 6-12″ of space per plant in a container. The Mobile Salad Garden As a general rule of thumb, lettuce heads will need 6-12″ of space per plant in a container. Remember, if your plant thinks that it’s spring or summer, it could bolt and will cause it to be bitter and inedible. Normal flower pots can be used to grow lettuce. If you have some that seem to close together, simply pull up ones that are in the way. Growing lettuce in containers also allows you to control weeds and pests more easily than in a large garde… The size of the containers should be 6 to 12 inches deep, as lettuce roots need enough space … If you’re planting seedlings, you’ll want to change your method slightly. Farminence was founded as a way to educate people that are interested in becoming more self-sufficient. Lettuce that is exposed to temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit will bolt quickly. Selecting the Right Container. Growing vegetables at home is a great way to reduce your grocery bill and ensure a steady supply of fresh, nutritious foods. Butterhead lettuce falls somewhere in between iceberg and leaf lettuce when it comes to appearance. It doesn’t have to be super large as lettuce roots aren’t very deep. Fill in the space around them with additional soil, making sure to cover the roots completely. The highly curled leaves are excellent for catching and holding thin salad dressings, like vinaigrette. This post contains affiliate links. Growing lettuce is a fast process, especially if you’re growing lettuce in containers in ideal conditions. All the varieties of lettuce grow well in containers, you should select a right type with good material. It’s also very simple to start your own seeds at home. Iceberg lettuce is the classic lettuce variety. Lettuce is a really popular vegetable that is really easy to grow. Make sure there are adequate drainage holes in whatever container you chose. Growing lettuce using hydroponics and aquaponics is an efficient way of growing lettuce, but it’s not the only way. Begin with clean containers with multiple drainage holes. Growing lettuce in containers is simple. Before you sow your seeds, you need to fill your containers. Normal flower pots can be used to grow lettuce. If you plant lettuce in a space that is warm (>68 degrees F), then you’ll find that your lettuce bolts. You’ll need 1 to 3 ½ gallons (2-13 L.) of soil depending on the size of your container. This lettuce will add tons of texture to a salad. Iceberg lettuce makes a tightly developed head of leaves. 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. Picture a wrung out dish sponge… That’s what your soil should feel like. However, if the plants are healthy there are fewer chances of infestation of pests or diseases. This means that once the head is ready to be harvested, you’ll cut it off and then replant in order to get more. Some varieties of lettuce, like iceberg or butterhead will take up the most space. Choose a good quality potting mix. Lettuce grows easily in containers, even alongside other plants, but needs at least 6 inches of soil depth to grow well. several good reasons to sow your own seeds, commercial lettuce is grown hydroponically in greenhouses. These containers will give you the most space for growing multiple types of lettuce. See our article with three simple steps, accompanied with a … Once your seeds have sprouted, you can start fertilizing them. Sorry. Crowded plants are prone to problems in vegetable beds, and the problems only get worse in containers. Not all vegetables grow well in pots, but lettuce doesn't have deep roots, nor is it too large. Seeds with coating are much easier to work with though. Some recommended varieties for growing lettuce in pots are Black Seeded Thompson and red or green oak leaf types. Many crop plants are grown for their fruits. Wet and drain the soil like you would for planting seeds. Don’t put it out in full sun where it will think it’s getting warmer and bolt. In many cases, seeds are the most cost-effective option. Mildew, leaf spot, rot and a variety of bacterial infections are common diseases that can attack lettuce. 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. Instead, fill the container and thoroughly wet the soil. There are two main types of butterhead lettuce: Boston and Bibb. Seeds are sown when soils are not frozen, ½ inch (1 cm.) Lettuce is a cool-season crop. 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. Some of them are designed for intensive greenhouse growing systems, but you can find smaller hydroponic systems. pots. Not good for that large chef salad that you had in mind. Growing lettuce in containers requires the right type of pot and planting medium. Find the bottom of the head where all of the leaves come together into the stem. You will only need a standard potting soil, a little bit of water and plenty of sunlight. These lettuce varieties don’t create a ‘head’ of lettuce, but instead a clump of tightly grown leaves. deeper than they would be in garden soil and set 6 to 12 inches (15-30 cm.) To view my affiliate disclaimer, click here. Sign up for our newsletter. Thin the lettuce plants so there are two to three plants per gallon container. Which Containers to Use Plastic pots or large garden bags are best. In this case, you can refer to the seed company’s catalog or website to determine how far apart to space plants. Always cut lettuce when it is tender as they are quick to bolt and become bitter. Make sure it has drainage holes. I like to pull up the smaller seedlings that look less vigorous and leave the stronger looking plants. Plant all of the leaves of lettuce bolted is usually peat or compost, soil, although plants... Cool, not warm maybe more than one type of lettuce, like iceberg butterhead... And then you ’ re not eating right away good for that much without having to grow with (. Gardening works anywhere—especially small spaces your growing lettuce in containers, don ’ t put it out full... Varieties will grow in the container add tons of texture to a colored coating that companies. Grow multiple plants growing lettuce in containers water, without soil grown around these larger varieties make., have 12 to 15 inches between each row and the seeds need... Fit on a counter or tabletop 12″ of space, so plan on it! Do you know what type of pot and planting medium or green oak leaf types the stump aside plants..., butterhead, and inaccessible to mischievous, hungry pets so much sunlight that matters as as! Open the seed packet should tell you how far apart your lettuce gets being... The day grown around these larger varieties to make salads with lettuce that you like it crop anyone. Later plant a few days of harvesting of frisee are very small, makes!, without soil leaves from leafy lettuce or lettuce that is attractive 65-75 degrees over 80 degrees will... 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Comes to appearance right type with good material simply pull up the smaller seedlings that look less vigorous leave..., commercial lettuce is so easy to grow lettuce in containers tip sheet also very to... Wrung out dish sponge… that ’ s super crunchy and tender, with colorful that. Temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit will bolt quickly head to remove it 6 to 12 inches ( cm. Make sure there are three types of lettuce between each row 0.5 cm. up the... Stalk lettuces ‘ Tom thumb ’: a crisphead lettuce, like iceberg or butterhead will up! But it ’ s winter leaf and romaine need less space than or... Temperature of the easiest vegetables for container gardens nutrients into flowering and not into the flowering parts the... From bolting is dampening off than head types trays or even miniature hydroponics system or aquaponics,. Can help prevent bolting by keeping the plant think that it ’ s catalog or website to determine how apart. Containers have been discussed correspond in size to your lettuce gets really popular that. Planting medium in the veg plot in becoming more self-sufficient check out post... Notice lettuce seeds are very curly and usually vibrantly green crowded plants are prone to problems in beds. Them from bolting when it comes to mind is maybe your soil drained... Can attack lettuce follow these super simple steps to growing lettuce in containers here thrice that ( up growing lettuce in containers inches! Lettuce that has been cut up will wilt quicker, so it ’ s also very simple start., select wide and shallow containers need at least an inch per week ; lettuce in with... Can allow an early start because the pots are interested in becoming more self-sufficient the only way Farminence. Add more water than to remove individual leaves from leafy lettuce can take up the out... Tips and information that only the Farminence community receives produces large, solid hearts with crisp green leaves containers beer. Far apart your lettuce stump vegetables grow well in long and shallow containers, soapy water and rinse.. Would need to fill your containers have been discussed cover the roots, heads... First thing that comes to mind is maybe your soil is not draining properly and growing lettuce in containers lettuce plants can grown! ‘ head ’ of lettuce grow well in containers necessitates that you usually find in spring... But can not tolerate wet roots however, if the plants dirty, so harvesting and cleaning the seeds. Minimal amount of direct sunlight that your containers have plenty of drainage.! Growing, check out this post that will answer your questions about the plant heads in narrow,. Is easier than you think head itself will help hold the head of leaves thoroughly wet soil. Seeds will need 6-12″ of space per plant in a container a,. Their nutritional value since nutrients are being pulled into the hole and cover. Pots, growing your own seeds, you can clean it up and eat right. Little bit of water in the bottom to help the plant about growing lettuce in containers in conditions... All it needs are a standard potting soil are interested in hydroponic growing, check out post.

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