Want to harvest your own lettuce from your garden? Grow your own salad vegetables? Savor the fantastic flavor? Save money and feel more confident about the food you eat?
We are going to look at how easy it is to harvest lettuce from your garden, no matter how small, and how best to store lettuce from your garden once you have grown it.
Growing lettuce and salad vegetables is super-easy and it tastes great. No matter how small your outdoor, or indoor space we can show you how to grow your own lettuce. The varieties available make growing lettuce really rewarding, who doesn’t love a fresh salad? As they grow relatively quickly the results are easy to achieve and they can be grown nearly all year around – what’s not to love?
Generally, lettuce falls into three categories;
- ‘Hearting’, they grow a denser center and few outside leaves
- ‘Loose leafed’
- Salad leaves, some will grow well indoors, and they can often be grown on a cut-and-come-again basis.
What space do you have?
Your starting point is the earth that you will plant them into – do you have an area of the garden you can clear and cultivate? It doesn’t have to be very big for lettuce, or maybe a hard-standing area you can put some pots onto? Maybe a balcony? Or are you going to cultivate indoors?
Your soil needs to be moist without being wet, well-draining, and lettuce likes really to grow between 45 and 65 degrees F. As lettuce has quite small seeds you won’t want big lumps of soil or rocks, so clear the earth and work it until it is quite fine. If you are using a pot or tray as your container then purchased compost will give you a fantastic starting point.
You will not want all of your lettuces to be ready to cut at the same time, so never sow too many at once, stagger the sowings with a one or two-week interval between them so that you get a nice constant supply of tasty vegetables to cut.
You can find a really wonderful selection of seeds, choose something you will love to eat. Sounds obvious? You will be amazed by how many people choose something they won’t eat and grow it!
Growing out of doors
- Sow your seeds directly and thin to around 4 inches apart.
- For cos or larger headed lettuce make that 8 inches apart.
- Protect from frost.
- Plant the seeds around ¼” deep.
- Water the seeds in.
- Monitor the lettuce – if it wilts then water it.
- Keep the soil around the lettuce clear from weed growth.
- Lettuce likes the sunshine – do not allow other plants to shade them.
Growing your lettuce indoors
- Your lettuce will love light – a south-facing window will be ideal.
- Do not put them in front of a heat source.
- Put your compost into the container you have chosen, and then sprinkle some fertilizer on the top.
- Sprinkle the seeds onto the top and press down into the compost. If you use cut and come again you can grow them quite densely.
- Keep the compost moist.
- 35 – 40 days later you get to cut your lettuce.
Lettuce should be cut when full size, but not old. Lettuce will go bitter if allowed to grow for too long, which is why succession sowing is so important, so don’t put it off, cut them as soon as they are ready.
At any point, you can harvest outside leaves and the lettuce will continue growing.
If you are going to store fresh lettuce that you have harvested from the garden then put them into a bag in the bottom of the fridge, where they should keep for up to 10 days.
If you have any concerns about how to harvest lettuce from a garden hopefully this will have put them to rest and convinced you to try growing some lettuce in the garden for your home use. It tastes better, has higher levels of vitamin A, saves you money, and means that you are more likely to spruce up your salad with a variety of leaves. Storing lettuce from your garden is easy – if you have to cut it then you can keep it in your refrigerator for up to 10 days.