Growing vegetables in a container is an easy and convenient way to enjoy the fresh, vibrant flavors of home-grown produce.
Lettuce, in particular, is small enough to fit into almost any container. That makes this salad favorite perfect for gardeners with limited time or space for gardening.
Growing Salad Leaves in a Container
To grow your own lettuce and salad leaves in a container, you’ll need:
- good quality potting soil,
- some seeds, and
- a container with drainage holes.
Fill your container with potting soil to within an inch of the top. Remember to tamp the soil down for a level surface.
Sprinkle a thin, even layer of seeds over the potting mixture. Cover the seeds with a layer of potting mixture and tamp down again.
Water the seeds carefully. Use a watering can with a fine rose.
Tips on Tending to Seedlings
Move the container into a sunlit spot. If you’re gardening in a hot climate, put the container in a cool, shady corner.
Check your project every day. You should water as necessary to maintain moist conditions.
In shallow pots, you may need to water more frequently. Make sure the potting mix does not dry out completely.
However, you should avoid overwatering. Too much water can cause root rot.
The seedlings will normally take five to ten days to germinate. Once the seedlings sprout, you’ll need to thin them out. Remove some of the seedlings so that the remaining plants are a minimum of an inch apart.
The lettuce leaves are ready to cut four to six weeks after sowing. Harvest little but often, says the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the largest leaves every few days. The plants will produce more leaves.
Select the outer leaves individually or harvest them by cutting the leaves off an inch above the base or crown. Don’t cut below the crown. That will kill the plant.
Easy to grow and maintain, the lettuce makes for good eating. This salad favorite is also rich in water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, all of which form part of a healthy diet.
Have you tried growing vegetables in containers? We would love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share any tips and advice you may have, too!