You want your lettuce leaves moist but not damp and drenched. How to grow Bibb lettuce from planting seed to harvest in just two minutes. A window box or raised bed is also a perfect location for growing lettuce.  These containers will give you the most space for growing multiple types of lettuce. Lettuce is usually one of the most care-free crops. For maximum production of lettuce, it is good to choose a site where the plant soil drains pretty well, and yet retains enough moisture for the crop. Sometimes it can be earlier if it is warmer outdoors, meaning you can also see them sprouting in three to four days. Direct sow seeds outdoors, spreading these small seeds as thinly as possible. Romaine lettuce is used as the main ingredient in many Caesar salads and has a crispy texture and a strong taste as well. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'greenthumb_central_com-leader-1','ezslot_11',131,'0','0'])); Therefore, if you like using several leaves of lettuce at a time, hydroponic lettuces can be convenient and a bargain as well. Growing lettuce in containers makes it easy to move small to medium-sized containers in and out of the cold temperatures if needed. You can grow lettuce in any container but for this procedure, we are going to recycle solo drinking cups. 7 Tips on How to Grow Lettuce Like A Boss Last updated: 02/15/19 You might be thinking of how to grow lettuce is too difficult. *Note- You may notice lettuce seeds are pink or another bright color when you open the seed packet.  This is due to a colored coating that seed companies put around the seeds.  Lettuce seeds are very small, which makes them hard to see and handle.  The coating makes it easier to work with them.  Some seed coatings are designed to help the germination rate of seeds.  In my experience, there isn’t much difference on a small scale between coated seeds or non-coated seeds when it comes to germination.  Seeds with coating are much easier to work with though. This is a question that always comes up.  Should you sow seeds or plant seedlings? The flavor of iceberg lettuce is very mild, and its texture is crisp. The time to maturity for Summer Bibb is about 60 days. You can search for seed catalogs and select from the infinite choices, instead of being confined to planting the transplants your garden center or local farmer has to offer. Perfect for a container! You don't have to make room in your garden if you want to grow lettuce. When you purchase seeds, the seed packet should tell you how far apart to space the plants.  Use this as a guide to see how far apart your lettuce plants need to be.  Some varieties, like Romaine, take up much less space around them than others.  Sometimes when you order seeds from a seed company, the information on the seed packet is limited.  In this case, you can refer to the seed company’s catalog or website to determine how far apart to space plants. Lettuce needs enough room for the roots, but you can also grow several varieties in six to twelve-inch pots. If you’re serious about growing lettuce in containers, then you’ll want to grab a copy of my ebook Vegetable Gardening in Containers. These plants produce crisp buttery leaves which form a loose head. That will help them to continue growing. Copyright ©2020, Farminence. Containers offer more flexibility in location than a designated garden area. Often, beginning from seed is more cost-effective, particularly if you plan to grow in succession or are growing in significant quantity.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'greenthumb_central_com-leader-4','ezslot_17',136,'0','0'])); Growing lettuce in containers is a common practice among small space gardeners like apartment dwellers without any garden space. When you're growing lettuce in containers, you have quick access to fresh salads, and it doesn't take that much work. If you aren’t, then you’re missing out.  If you don’t have a Ruby Tuesdays near you, then you’re missing out.  Sorry.  They have the best salad bar with so many options.  I love that they offer more than one type of lettuce. Benefits of growing lettuces in containers, Pests you will encounter when growing lettuce. Starting with some baby plants can offer you predictable results and more control in your garden.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'greenthumb_central_com-leader-2','ezslot_14',134,'0','0'])); The transplants can give you a big jumpstart on a particular season because they’ll mature sooner and even give you an early harvest. Growing lettuce in pots is an ideal way to have fresh greens at your fingertips, whether you live in a house or an apartment! By harvesting leaf lettuce through trimming it a few inches above the soil, you can get two to three harvests from one planting. Lettuce plants thrive in soil that is rich.  Once your seeds have sprouted, you can start fertilizing them.  Choose a fertilizer with equal parts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.  10-10-10 fertilizer is an excellent choice for growing lettuce. Growing lettuce in some containers will require the right type of planting medium and pot. You can pick fresh lettuce leaves to prepare a good salad for your date on Valentines using your red romaine and for your Christmas meals as well. Lettuce plants can be grown in many types of containers and potting media.  You don’t necessarily have to grow them in soil, although I would recommend that for beginners since it’s the safest option. Here are some other ways to assist you in storing lettuce: You should ensure that your lettuce harvest is properly cleaned once you harvest to prevent it from spoiling. Lettuce does pretty well in cool weather and temperatures between 60°F and 65°F. Butterhead lettuce falls somewhere in between iceberg and leaf lettuce when it comes to appearance.  These leafy varieties create more of a head than leaf lettuce.  There are two main types of butterhead lettuce: Boston and Bibb.  Butterhead lettuce is somewhere in between crunchy and tender, with colorful leaves that are tightly packed and fluffy. several good reasons to sow your own seeds, commercial lettuce is grown hydroponically in greenhouses. Start Indoors: 25 to 46 days before the last frost date. Lettuce needs enough room for the roots, but you can also grow several varieties in six to twelve-inch pots. • Portability– This reason is particularly beneficial in the early spring days when it’s still pretty cold outside during the night hours, but warms up whenever the sun is out. To plant lettuce crop where the temperatures are extremely higher, ensure that your planting beds will always get afternoon shades. Hi – we are growing bibb lettuce this year for the first time. Ideally, the temperature around your lettuce plants should be between 55-65 degrees at night and 65-75 degrees during the day.  Lettuce that is exposed to temperatures over 80 degrees Fahrenheit will bolt quickly.  You can purchase cultivars that are less likely to bolt, but it’s still a good idea to keep lettuce in a cool location. If you want to learn more about growing Lettuce in containers, I recommend watching the below video: Step 2 – Do THIS to Transplant your Lettuce into your Garden! Lay out your lettuce on some paper towels to keep moisture away. Choosing the container for Growing Lettuce in Pots: All the varieties of lettuce grow well in containers, you should select a right type with good material. Great hub on growing lettuce in containers. This post contains affiliate links. Lettuce normally grows in average soils, but sandy loam soil is optimal. When growing lettuce in the winter, you should change the soil used for the summer and spring lettuce. Leaves can be collected throughout the growing cycle. So we decided to buy a pack and plant them in a container that we had available. Gardeners can choose from a wide variety of lettuces which are highly productive in limited spaces, pretty easy to grow, and virtually disease and pest free. The only variety found in the US is known as celtuce. Tom Thumb lettuce plants are a unique variety of butterhead or bibb lettuce. The heads of Boston lettuces resemble flowering roses. The leafy greens require a constant supply of moisture since they are almost 95% water but can’t tolerate wet roots.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'greenthumb_central_com-mobile-leaderboard-1','ezslot_20',137,'0','0'])); Using a clay pot will provide a porous surface which can evaporate all the excess water and also prevent waterlogged roots. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'greenthumb_central_com-large-mobile-banner-2','ezslot_13',133,'0','0'])); Starts and transplants are baby vegetable plants, typically sold in pots or packs of four or six. Gardener Den. You should keep the plants in a shaded and cool place to prolong their life cycle. A fresh and tasty salad is usually a good way to get more leafy veggies into your diet, whether it is an impromptu snack or a side at dinner when you are rummaging through your fridge. Some varieties of lettuce, like iceberg or butterhead will take up the most space. Lettuce is different.  You’re growing lettuce for the leaves, not the fruit.  You’re probably thinking “…so?”. Greenthumb-central.com also participates in affiliate programs with CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. 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.  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. This leaf vegetable thrives outdoors and will also grow in a variety of weather conditions. You can start seeds indoors and transplant seedlings to beds outside, or if there is no risk of frost you can sow Bibb lettuce seeds right in the soil outside. This type of lettuce is distinguished from other types by a thick edible stem, which is usually six to eight inches long. L M Reid (author) from Ireland on March 26, 2014: Lettuce, scallions and peppers are great vegetables to grow in containers on a patio or balcony. Once your soil has been wetted and drained, you can plant your lettuce.  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″).  Place one seed into the hole and gently cover it.  Don’t pack the soil over the seed. Here are several things to keep in mind when harvesting your lettuce crop: The different types of lettuce crop can be grown as single plants or cut and come again. To prevent this, you should know the most common pests that affect lettuce plants and take the necessary steps to prevent them in your home garden. You can sow your seeds 4 to 6 inches apart. If you’re interested in hydroponic growing, check out this post that will answer your questions about the basics of hydroponics.  There are tons of hydroponic systems that you can grow lettuce in.  Some of them are designed for intensive greenhouse growing systems, but you can find smaller hydroponic systems.  Many of these smaller hydroponics systems can fit on a counter or tabletop. Find small hydroponics systems for growing lettuce here. Stem lettuce provides a mild flavor that’s sometimes termed as “nutty cucumber.” This lettuce type is ideal for salads, but you can also cook it like a vegetable.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'greenthumb_central_com-banner-1','ezslot_9',129,'0','0'])); Cos, also known as Romaine lettuce, has long and deep green leaves that create a loaf-shaped head. If you have a small garden, you can control the weed pests by picking them by hand. 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. If possible, avoid harvesting your lettuce leaves until you need them because they will eventually bolt. The transplanting method is usually ideal for the romaine or bibb types of lettuce. This makes a difference in how you grow lettuce.  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.  You can learn more about plant nutrition here. Plowing and mulching methods can also assist in reducing pest populations before planting. However, some varieties often develop closed heads, but others are more open. I don’t know about you, but the lettuce seedlings that I’ve seen in my local garden centers are few and far between.  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. From picking your pot to planting the seeds and watering correctly, this guide shows you everything, you need to know about how to grow lettuce in containers. You can also cut bigger types of lettuce such as bibb to keep them intact. To grow lettuce crop successfully, you will require a good amount of nitrogen and potassium. All Rights Reserved. Utilize mushroom compost and put down some lime to prevent the soil from becoming so acidic. Although butterhead lettuces are more expensive than other types, their heads have a pretty extended home refrigerator shelf life as long as you ensure to keep the roots wet. If you don’t have a garden area, try growing your lettuce in a container that is at least 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) in diameter. A bolted plant will start putting all of its energy and nutrients into flowering and not into the leaves of the plant.  This causes the leaves to lose much of their nutritional value since nutrients are being pulled into the flowering parts of the plant. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'greenthumb_central_com-leader-3','ezslot_15',135,'0','0'])); This method is ideal for the “cut and come” varieties of lettuce. Butterhead lettuce is surprisingly attractive in a mixed container garden—grow it with edible cool-season blooms such as nasturtiums, pansies, and calendula flowers to yield a spring mix that you can harvest for weeks Keep up the good work! Here are some beneficial tips that will help you grow lettuce plants during the four different seasons: If you would like to enjoy some lettuce salads during the spring season, you should begin planting early if possible. You should always ensure that your lettuce plant is always moist. 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