Growing lettuce indoors in 5 easy steps

When considering growing lettuce indoors, keep in mind that there are several ways to do this. We will discuss the use of a seed starting or planting mixture, but you can also buy a hydroponic growing kit that allows you to grow your lettuce in water soaked in nutrients.

The loose-leaf type is best suited for indoor gardening, as its plants grow well when placed close to each other, while other varieties do not. For example, growing butter lettuce indoors would require more space. But if you give such a plant its own pot, you might pick it up!

Tools and materials


Keep in mind that your cats may assume the greens are for them, or the shallow tanks full of soil have a different purpose than you intended! For such reasons, it is usually best to place the “houseplants” of your salad in a room that is secluded from your pets.

STEP 1: Choose a place to grow lettuce indoors.

The location of the lettuce garden should be brightly lit – even in sunny weather – for at least 6-8 hours a day. Since lettuce plants prefer cool but non-drafty conditions, choose a sunny location away from radiators or radiators and icy-sliced ​​exterior doors.

A south-facing bay window would be ideal, where rays can enter from multiple directions in one day. If you lack sunny windows, you may want to consider growing lettuce indoors, under lamps, with either fluorescent or reflector LED luminaires.

2-4 bulb luminaires work best and don’t necessarily need to be labeled as growth light to be effective. In fact, they need to illuminate the plants more consistently than the sun because they always shine, even if the sun doesn’t!

how to grow lettuce indoors

STEP 2: Plant lettuce seeds.

If you grow lettuce from seed indoors, choose well-established classic varieties like Oak Leaf and Black Seeded Simpson, or varieties called “early” that grow fast. Early lettuce varieties include Waldmann’s Dark Green and Red Sails. You can also try baby pencil or mesclun (greens) mixture. Use low containers such as shallow pots, seed covers or plastic boxes to sow seeds.

If there are no drainage holes in the trays yet, create a few before filling the tanks with 3 to 4 inches of wet seed mixture or potted mixture. Spread the seeds evenly over the surface of the mixture and sprinkle a little of it on the seeds to a depth of no more than 1/8 inch.

Then place the containers in a bright place with plastic wrap on top to retain moisture. Lettuce seeds germinate best at temperatures between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. They should be driven out in about a week.

Related: Keep your green thumb up this winter with a garden tower

STEP 3: Irrigation, temperature and humidity.

After the seeds have germinated, remove the plastic wrap. When the seedlings have about four leaves, transplant or thin them so that they are 1 inch apart. Water them as often as necessary to keep the soil slightly moist but not soaked.

If you use small containers, you can water the plants from below by placing them in an unperforated flat into which you have poured an inch of water. The container mixture must absorb moisture through the drainage openings of the containers.

Then take the containers out of the apartment and put them back in their clear position, preferably on a drip tray full of pebbles to allow them to drain out and keep the air around them moist. If possible, make sure the temperature at the plant site stays between 65 and 70 degrees.

how to grow lettuce indoors

STEP 4: Provide adequate light and fertilizer.

They tend towards plants grown in sunlight, so turn the containers upside down every few days to make the lettuce stand upright. If you use a growing lamp instead, keep the bulbs about 6 inches above the top of the plants.

Connect the luminaire to a timer that keeps the bulbs lit for 14 hours a day, say between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. If the lettuce leaves start to heat up or turn white, raise the fixation. If the plants appear to grow lukewarm and prefer to reach for the light, lower the assembly.

If the flower pot does not contain fertilizer, feed the plants about once a week with a plant food high in nitrogen mixed with water. An odorless fish emulsion, such as 5-1-1, is used in ca. 1 tablespoon / gallon of water is used, adequate, provided the fish smell has actually been removed!

how to grow lettuce indoors

Related: The fastest growing vegetables, fruits and herbs for impatient gardeners

STEP 5: Harvest indoor lettuce.

About a month after the lettuce is sprouted or when it reaches a height of 4 inches, it should be ready to be harvested. Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut off the outermost leaves of each bunch, about 1 inch above the flower mixture.

Then wash your hands before washing the salad thoroughly under running water and rub the leaves with your clean hands to remove any bacterial residue from the soil or fertilizer. If you do not plan to use the salad immediately, dry it with a salad spinner and store it in the refrigerator in the product holder and wash it again before use. It should stay fresh there for 7-10 days.

Once the innermost leaves of the nodules have grown large enough to be picked up, keep the pruned plants in a well-lit place. They may start to grow again and produce another or two crops. A fibrous salad can usually be harvested two to three times.

As the above instructions illustrate, growing lettuce in indoor pots is not difficult. Keep in mind that plants get most of their food from the sun or other light, so proper lighting is vital to their health.

Also, be sure to wash your salad before consuming it, as the green of a salad contaminated with bacteria is a major cause of food poisoning. Although running water does not guarantee to remove all such dirt, it does help, as does discarding damaged leaves.

Related: 12 easy to grow herbs on the windowsill

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