Rising Lettuce in Containers for Limitless Leafy Greens

Lettuce is among the most worthwhile seeds to develop. For just a little quantity of effort and an excellent low value, you’ll get a reward of bountiful lettuce. Irrespective of your kind of backyard, rising lettuce in containers is straightforward to do. Right here’s how!

lettuce in wine barrel
After 3 weeks, that is what my lettuce appeared like in my wine barrel.

I wouldn’t have believed you in case you had informed me a couple of years in the past the excessive worth of lettuce now. I’ll be sincere and say I’m not an enormous meals grower. Since I had a small city backyard, I used to be choosy concerning the veggies I might select to develop.

However lettuce? Lettuce has at all times been high of the record of seeds I plant.

It’s one of many best vegetation to develop, particularly in containers. In case you solely have a balcony and even only a kitchen backyard, you’ll be able to develop lettuce.

It’s additionally extraordinarily low cost to develop. With succession planting, you’ll be able to have lettuce each day of the spring, summer time, fall, and, dare I say, winter (in case you’re artful sufficient.).

Right this moment, I’m breaking down all my suggestions and tips for find out how to develop lettuce in containers. Let’s go!

Bounce forward to…

Knowledgeable Ideas for Rising Lettuce in Containers

  • Select a container with a minimal depth of 10-12 inches. Lettuce has shallow roots, which permit you extra flexibility for container measurement.
  • Extra fertile soil will permit for quicker, sweeter lettuce progress. Add compost!
  • Develop leaf salad greens so you’ll be able to harvest as you want them moderately than look forward to an entire head of lettuce to develop.
  • Plant the seeds densely. Skinny them out as they get greater, and eat all the newborn greens you are taking away.
  • Develop lettuce in full solar, although shelter them from heavy warmth in the summertime.
  • Harvest lettuce within the mornings whereas hydrated and maintain it saved in a salad spinner within the fridge till prepared to be used.
  • After you harvest greens, sprinkle extra lettuce seeds about each 2-3 weeks for an infinite provide of lettuce.

Why You Ought to Develop Lettuce in a Container

As I discussed, lettuce is among the few greens I be certain that to plant yearly. And I virtually completely develop it in containers!

For me, it began as a strategy to cease the slugs from consuming up all my lettuce provide. Apart from slugs, elevating your lettuce from the bottom prevents pests from taking on.

Lettuce can also be one of many least expensive and best vegetation to develop. It has a excessive yield. For each seed packet costing about $5, you’ll be able to develop the equal of 20 containers of store-bought lettuce.

The peak of a container additionally makes it straightforward to reap from. If the container isn’t too huge, it’s also possible to transfer it as wanted. So full solar in the summertime, and maybe some shade when it’s overly sizzling out.

growing lettuce in containers using a tower
This lettuce tower is a novel strategy to make use of vertical house.

Easy methods to Develop Lettuce in a Container

Rising lettuce in containers is simple if you use all the following tips and tips, I swear!

Step 1: Selecting a Container

Not all containers are the identical. On the subject of containers, deeper is best than something huge and shallow. Deeper incorporates retain water higher.

Fortunately, lettuce does have shallow roots, so you may get away with a smaller container than the common vegetable. Ideally, you need one thing that could be a 3-gallon or bigger or a minimal depth of 10-12 inches.

And in case you love your lettuce, please please guarantee your container has drainage holes. If it doesn’t, then add some with a drill!

In case you’re planning to upcycle a container, make sure the container is meals protected. For instance, outdated tires or pressure-treated wooden are no-gos.

I’ve planted and seen lettuce in all types of various containers, together with a wine barrel, an upcycled pallet, hanging basket, in develop baggage, throughout the house, and extra.

This hanging basket retains pests off of lettuce and drains via the coco coir.

Step 2: Filling Your Container

I at all times decide to make my very own potting mixes. This permits me to customise the soil based mostly on the plant’s wants and guarantee solely high quality components are used. Nevertheless, it’s also possible to purchase potting soil. Simply be sure you purchase one designed for pots and containers, as backyard soil can be too dense.

The extra fertile the soil is, the faster the lettuce will develop. And the faster it grows, the sweeter the lettuce tastes. Combine in some compost to make your soil particularly fertile.

In case you have a big container, like a wine barrel, filling the complete factor with soil can get expensive. See a few of my go-to alternate options for the underside of a container or raised mattress.

Step 3: Selecting Your Lettuce

Sometimes, I keep away from rising head lettuce. As an alternative, I want leaf salad greens as I don’t have to attend to reap the entire thing. I can minimize them as I would like them! But when head lettuce is your factor, don’t let me cease you.

A few of my favorite lettuce to develop consists of:

You’ll be able to simply purchase pre-mixed seeds for child greens or salad mixtures. I additionally suggest a few of these uncommon salad greens!

Garden Therapy Ornamental Edibles Seed Collection Lettuces
Crimson velvet lettuce and speckled lettuce greens.

Step 4: Planting Lettuce

Planting your lettuce stands out as the best step. All it’s important to do is sprinkle the seeds on high of the soil and provides it a superb water. Plant the seeds densely.

You’ll be able to select to begin the seeds indoors on a plastic backyard tray about 3-4 weeks earlier than the final frost or plant them in your containers outdoors after the final frost has handed. Leafy greens are cool greens, in order that they like to develop in early spring as quickly as the bottom permits it.

One other tip, throw in some chives within the combine. They are going to assist keep at bay any additional pests that get to your container.

Lettuce seedlings growing indoors in mini greenhouses
Lettuce seedlings rising indoors in mini-greenhouses.

Step 5: Caring for Lettuce

Lettuce grows greatest in full solar, although it does tolerate partial shade. Since they’re a cool season crop, they don’t like sizzling sizzling temperatures, nevertheless. Be at liberty to maneuver your container to get them out of the afternoon solar in peak summer time.

You can too plant them in containers alongside taller greens the place they are going to get some shade. The warmth can even make them bolt quicker (start flowering), which is one thing you don’t need!

Because the seedlings develop, be certain that to skinny them out. Fortunately, you’ll be able to eat all these child greens, and so they’ll have tons of candy flavour.

lettuce growing in a container
This lettuce is already able to eat after a couple of weeks.

Since lettuce has shallow roots, you’ll need to water them often. Water twice per week in the course of the spring and fall is nice, and examine on them each day when it’s sizzling.

If you wish to prolong the rising season, use an umbrella greenhouse for lettuce within the fall or spring. Lettuce additionally grows effectively in chilly frames for lettuce even within the winter!

Step 6: Harvesting Lettuce

You received’t have to attend lengthy to begin snipping your lettuce. Inside three weeks (relying on the range), it is best to have some greens that you could already start munching on.

To reap, use sharp, clear scissors and minimize the lettuce whereas it’s nonetheless hydrated within the morning. Usually by dinnertime, the lettuce has barely wilted. For leafy greens, minimize mid-sized outer leaves. Or, harvest the entire head.

using scissors to cut lettuce
Minimize lettuce with a pair of unpolluted, sharp scissors.

Make certain to harvest all the pieces earlier than the lettuce flowers. Often known as bolting, the lettuce will style bitter after it flowers.

Lettuce tastes greatest eaten the identical day it’s harvested. Wash the lettuce, then use a salad spinner. Maintain the lettuce within the fridge proper within the salad spinner. This retains it the freshest.

Step 7: Succession Planting

By far, my favorite factor about lettuce is how straightforward it’s to succession plant. You’ll be able to have a continuing provide of contemporary greens in case you do.

After you harvest some greens, sprinkle seeds the place you harvested them. I do that about each 2-3 weeks. This fashion, you at all times have lettuce obtainable if you want it.

Lettuce seedlings growing in a raised garden bed.
Lettuce seedlings rising in my vertical planter. You’ll be able to see on the best the place I’ve already harvested some lettuce vegetation!

Ceaselessly Requested Questions About Rising Lettuce in Containers

Does lettuce develop effectively in pots?

Lettuce grows very simply in pots. Search for a 3-gallon pot with drainage holes. Terracotta pots look stunning and assist to retain just a little extra moisture for shallow roots. Develop baggage are additionally a fantastic pot choice.

Does lettuce want full solar?

Lettuce does greatest in full solar, although it tolerates partial shade. Lettuce likes a cool local weather, so shelter it from excessive warmth in the summertime, particularly the afternoon solar.

How deep does a container should be for lettuce?

A container for lettuce ought to have a minimal depth of 10-12 inches.  Lettuce has shallow roots, you may get away with shallow containers.  

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