Spring is coming…I promise. Here in Pennsylvania we have had spring fever all month long, enjoying above normal temperatures. Needless to say we have become very spoiled. Now the rug is being pulled out from under us, snow is predicted for the first day of spring. Regardless of the weather I went ahead a got a head start on my veggie garden. Even though my raised beds haven’t been prepped I couldn’t resist the urge to plant something edible outdoors. So I went ahead and planted lettuce in a container on my deck. Since lettuce can tolerate the cold temperatures I don’t have to worry about the temperature dipping near freezing tonight or the coming snow.
Planting lettuce in containers is so easy and perfect if you don’t have space for a traditional garden. Plus it deters critters form feasting on your bounty if plants are close to home. I planted a mesclun mix, often referred to as cut and come again lettuce, this mix consists of red sails, mizuna and oak leaf varieties. The flavors range from mild to slightly bitter. They are easy to grow and simple to harvest.
10 -12″ pot, a bowl works well, but not necessary.
Organic potting mix 32 quart bag
1 pack of 6 starter plants, if you want to grow organic variety check label.
1. Fill pot with soil.
2. Remove starter plants from pack and place in pot. You don’t need to leave a lot of space between plants, 1-2″ is sufficient.
3. Water in plants. Water when soil dries. Consistency is key when watering lettuce. Be Careful not to over water or under water your plants. This will lead to bitter tasting lettuce.
4. Fertilizing. Lettuce love to grow in a nutrient rich composted soil. Using a high quality organic bagged potting soil containing Echto and Endo Mycorrhizae is a good start. You can add an organic fertilizer once plants are established. Use a slow release fertilizer NPK 5-7-3.
5. When do I Harvest? In about 2weeks you’ll be able to cut some fresh greens for your salad.
I hope you will try growing lettuce in containers. It is the perfect start for the beginner gardener and a great way to teach your kids how much fun it is to grow what you eat! Nothing beats the taste of home grown veggies!