How to Grow Lettuce in Containers How to Grow Lettuce in Containers
Growing lettuce in a container is ideal for indoor lettuce planting regardless of whether you use a soilless mix or an orgainic growing medium. Any vegetable that may be successfully raised in your backyard garden should grow just as well in a container. Growing lettuce in a container gives you the freedom to move your lettuce outdoors in the sunlight or indoors during times of frost. This article instructs you how to grow lettuce in a container and provides you with all the information that you need in order to be successful.
Choose a Species of Lettuce Seed and a Container
The following list includes those species of lettuce that are best to grow in containers: ruby, buttercrunch, romaine, dark green boston, salad bowl, and bibb. The aforementioned types of lettuce are better adapted to grow in containers than any other lettuce species. Therefore, you should choose a variety from the list, especially if you are new to container gardening.
After choosing a species of lettuce to grow in pots, you will need to purchase an appropriate container. Since the roots of the lettuce plant grow shallow and horizontal you should choose a container that is shallow and wide. Your container needs to be equipped with drainage holes on the bottom of the pot so your soil does not retain too much moisture.
Ideally, you would purchase several pots, one or two to use for seed germination and three or four more to contain transplanted lettuce seedlings until they reach maturity.
Prepare Containers and Sow Lettuce Seeds
Once you have purchased an adequate container, begin preparing the container by depositing an inch of gravel into each container to ensure proper drainage. Fill the remaining space in the container with a reputable organic potting soil. Run some water through the potting soil to ensure that it is moist when you plant your lettuce seeds.
When purchasing your soil, it is a good idea to speak with any expert that is working in the nursery. Since they are likely skilled gardeners themselves, they will be able to provide you with tips for growing lettuce in your particular climate zone. Not to mention, they will be able to advise you about which soil is best suited for your pursuit.
Plant the lettuce seeds at least ¼ of an inch into the potting soil, but no more than ½ an inch deep. Cover the seeds with a light dusting of potting soil and cover the pots with a layer of plastic wrap to increase humidity and maintain temperature; remove once seedlings emerge.
Thin Seedlings and Raise into Adulthood
Once your lettuce seedlings have grown to reach the height of at least two inches it is appropriate to thin them. Pluck out the slowest-growing and weakest seedlings to make room for the root systems of the strongest specimens. Now would be the time to transplant seedlings into permanent separate pots if you wish to grow them individually.
In order to successfully raise your lettuce seedlings into adulthood, you need only to follow three steps:
- Mist with water every other day and on hot dry days; water lightly when soil has dried to the depth of one inch.
- Use organic fertilizer; remember, everything you feed your plant will be fed to you after harvest.
- Consult the back of the seed packet that you purchased your lettuce seeds from to determine the amount of sunlight to give your plants.