Indoor herb gardening. Sounds like an arduous task? Think about it, if you grow your vegetable garden, you have accessibility to fresh produce. What’s more interesting is that YOU control the seasons when you grow indoors! Growing lettuce indoors is the easiest place to start with if you’re new to indoor gardening. It can be fun, therapeutic and, an effective stress reliever.
Lettuce is a salad crop and is one of the few vegetables that can be grown indoors as easily as in an outdoor garden. There are many types of lettuce, but the major types are Leaf, Bibb, Romaine and, Iceberg lettuce.
The benefits and advantages of lettuce differ based on the types of lettuce and their nutritional value. As a leafy green, lettuce can improve your bone strength, keep you hydrated, maintain good eye health, and helps promote sleep too! It is filled with antioxidants that help prevent damage caused by unstable molecules in your body systems.
Lettuce is known for its vital role in salads and topping juicy burgers and acts as a healthy substitute for bread and wraps. Isn't it hard to imagine dressing up a salad without adding lettuce into it, or biting into a plump tasty burger without the crunch of lettuce in it that adds the texture? Crisp and light, it is one of the most popular greens used in preparing many dishes. Here are a few popular and healthy recipes that you can easily make at home with lettuce!
Simple Lettuce Dishes
Rustle up this classic salad at home with fresh lettuce, crisp croutons, eggs, and cream. It’s the easiest recipe to prepare in a jiffy!
This popular treat gets a healthy spin with lettuce replacing the flour-based shells. Add to it a lip-smacking chicken mix and you have a healthy taco!
Chicken lettuce wrap
Create a lovely platter of lettuce wraps filled with minced chicken, vegetables, and tangy plum sauce. Sounds delicious enough!
As lettuce is a delicate leafy green, with a short lifespan, it is always advisable to have it fresh, without storing it for too long. That's the best way to enjoy its crunch and mild flavour. Although the lettuce bought from the market is rich in nutrients, the ones you grow at home will have a far superior flavor and freshness. Growing your lettuce indoors has a lot of additional benefits aside from bringing a splash of greenery into your space.
Have a look at the growing requirements and processes that you’ll need to know about before you garden your very own lettuce.
Get the right potting mix
To get the best outcome from home-grown plants, you need to make sure that the potting mix you use to plant seeds is abundant in all the crucial nutrients. A perfect potting mix should be an ideal combination of fertile soil and vermicompost. If you are growing lettuce in pots, you can mix equivalent portions of any natural compost such as dry leaves or grass, food scraps, etc. with perlite to make the potting mix. If you are planting directly in the ground, then just add vermicompost to the soil and if you are using containers, then fill the containers with the mix, leaving 1 inch of space from the rim.
Plant the seeds
Sprinkle the seeds 1 inch apart and cover them with a thin layer of the mix. Make sure that the place you’re growing the lettuce, gets an adequate amount of light for the seeds to germinate. Grow your crop under lights in case the right amount of sunlight isn’t available at your home.
Get a Smart Garden
Specially designed systems like tabletop grow lights, are ideal for growing crops of lettuce.
Lettuce seeds usually take 7-10 days to germinate. During the germination process, ensure that your plants receive adequate light, the soil remains moist, and the temperature is consistent between 18°C to 22°C.
Once the seeds have germinated, they will turn into small seedlings. This is the right time to trim them out so that the others get space to grow.
In about three to four weeks, indoor baby lettuce should be around 4" inches tall with 2-3 tiny leaves and ready to harvest. As lettuce is short-lived, cut only what you need, starting with the outer leaves first. Trim each leaf at the plant's base and leave the remaining leaves to grow for a few more days. When the harvest is complete, you can plant another set of seeds.
After harvest tips
Once you’ve harvested the lettuce, it is important to ensure that you take proper care of them. Here are a few tips!
Give it plenty of water
Lettuce plants require more consistent soil moisture as they consist of 95% water. So make sure that the soil remains moist. A thirsty head of lettuce will look droopy or wilted.
Keep it cool
The trick to growing lettuce is to keep it at the right temperature. If your garden is getting too cold at night, protect the plants with row covers; if your lettuce is seeing too much hot weather, prop up shade cloth to keep the heat off.
Take care of pests
Lettuce can be vulnerable to a wide variety of pests, including aphids, slugs, cutworms, etc. Man pests can be deterred if you plant garlic or chives as “barriers” alongside your lettuce.
Be sure it gets nutrients
Fertilize your lettuce every two or three weeks with compost or manure, or spread a slow-release organic fertilizer three weeks after planting.
Well, now that you know how to cultivate your own lettuce, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and grow them at home! It sure is an easy way to cut down your grocery bills and enjoy months of homegrown greens.
Quite a lot of steps, right? If you don't wanna do all of them, just get a Greenie Organic Smart Garden and the only thing you will have to do is to input the smart pods inside the Garden and then harvest the lettuce whenever you would like to have a salad. Easy.