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Vegetable

How to Grow Lettuce Indoors (Step by Step Guide)

Lettuce is an annual plant belonging to the daisy family. It is a green leafy vegetable that is most abundantly used in salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Lettuce is a rich source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A, and also a good source of Folate and Iron. Egypt was the first country to grow lettuce at around 50 AD. It came to Europe around the 16th to 17th Centuries. Hence, the lettuce plant came to be widely available at that time. The availability of lettuce made it the main source of nutrient in most of the foods which constitute a healthy diet.

Today, I will tell you How to Grow Lettuce Indoors as a step-by-step guide and I will tell you ways to start caring for Lettuce Plants as well. So, without further ado let’s get started!

Requirements for the growth of Lettuce

There are a few essential requirements for the healthy growth of the lettuce plant. It is extremely important to abide by the following conditions:

  • Season – February to April, September to November
  • Temperature – 7 degrees to 27 degree Celsius
  • Sunlight – First Two Weeks – 5 to 6 hours, From the Third week – 8 hours
  • Soil – Loamy and well-drained soil
  • Water Requirement – Summer season – Twice a day, Winter season – As and when needed.
  • Companion or Supporting Plants – Thyme, Oregano, Tomatoes, Basil

Steps to grow Lettuce Indoors

Step 1 : Planting lettuce at Home

  • Choose the best variety of lettuce that will grow indoors without much hassle. Buy any of the varieties of Lettuce mentioned below from your local nursery or online:
  • Garden Babies
  • Merlot
  • Baby Oakleaf
  • Salad Bowl
  • Lollo Rosa
  • Black-Seeded Simpson
  • Tom Thumb
  • Red Deer Tongue

Step 2 : Fill in a pot with soil mix used for seed sprouting

This will help in the growth of the plant without retaining much water as the soil is well-draining. It prevents the root from getting overwatered. If you are unable to get hold of the seed sprouting soil mix you can make a homemade mixture of sand, peat, and vermiculite.

There are a few steps to be maintained while mixing the soil mix with the soil.

  • Each and every lettuce plant requires 10 to 15 cm of space to grow nicely with a depth of 20 cm. Choose a pot accordingly.
  • Choose a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom to facilitate the drainage of extra water. Place a dish beneath to catch the falling water.
  • Buy a good soil mix from your nearby nursery.

Step 3 : Plant the Lettuce seeds approximately 2.5 cm apart

Dig out a hole of 10 to 15 cm depth and place the seeds in the hole about 2.5 cm apart. Put in 4 seeds per pot to prevent overcrowding of the plants. If you want to plant more seeds get more pots as well.

Step 4 : Sprinkle your seeds with soil and water

Take up some potting soil and sprinkle it over the seeds. Then, sprinkle some water on the seeds to make them sprout faster into baby lettuce plants.

Care for Lettuce Indoors

Step 1 : Sprinkle the seeds with ample water

Sprinkle the seeds with water until the small seedlings began to sprout out. When the seeds sprout out give the lettuce plants at least 2.5 cm of water every week so that they can grow fresh and healthy. Dig your finger into the soil to see whether the soil is wet or dry. If it’s dry then water it accordingly so that the soil is moist. Keep these conditions in mind while planting Lettuce :

  • The soil must not be overwatered. It must have an adequate amount of moisture.
  • The soil must not be saturated with water. To check this you can lift up the pot and see if it’s retaining a lot of water.

Step 2 : Growing of Lettuce Indoors in Room Temperature

Lettuce grows the best at room temperature of around 18 to 21 degrees Celsius. You can take your plants outdoors to give them adequate heat and moisture if you wish to.

Step 3: Place your potted plant near a window for ample Sunlight

Lettuce plants need at least 12 hours of sunlight a day. It is needed to give the plant a preferred amount of 14 to 16 hours of sunlight per day. The plant must be kept near the window where sunlight reaches or it can be kept under an artificial fluorescent glow light. In the case of glow light, one must give it at least 12 plus hours of sunlight per day.

Step 4 : Water the plant whenever you see wilting leaves

With much heat in the room, you need to water your lettuce plant more often and regularly.

Step 5 : Fertilize the plant

The key to a healthy growing lettuce plant is fertilizing it amply after three weeks of planting it. Use a liquid fertilizer for this purpose.

Harvesting the Lettuce Plant

  • Lettuce Plant must be harvested when they grow up to be fuller in size when they are maturing. Lettuce leaves taste the best when they are fresh, tender, and juicy.
  • Before full maturity, you can harvest the lettuce by removing the outer leaves of the plant only leaving the center leaves for the continual growth of the plant even after harvesting of the leaves.
  • Mature lettuce does not taste great. The leaves taste extremely bitter and they are hard and stale. One must check his garden every day and keep a lookout for fresh, ready-to-harvest leaves. Mature lettuce also goes bad really quickly.
  • The best time to harvest the lettuce leaves is before sunrise because the leaves are more tender and fresh at that time. the taste of the leaves is extremely crisp and juicy.
  • You must plant a second round of lettuce seeds rather than waiting for the new leaves to grow.
  • Store the lettuce leaves in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for up to 10 days, not more than that.
  • If your lettuce is wilted you need to put the leaves into a bowl filled with cold water and wet and soak the leaves in it for 15mins or so.

Hope you liked this article. Happy Growing until next time!

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