Lettuce is an easy, useful and a delicious tasting plant that produces a harvest throughout the growing season. Cultivation requires little more than plenty of light and water. Lettuce leaves can be picked casually, even as new green leaves emerge, bringing lots of joy to even the inexperienced gardener. Read below to learn how to grow lettuce indoors and pick up easy tips for choosing and planting the right type of lettuce.
Different lettuces for cultivation
The easiest way to get familiar with different types of lettuce is to start with the most common – the sweet leafy lettuces. Leafy lettuces grow as rosettes really fast, and typically they are harvested as early as a few weeks after planting. Crisphead lettuces, on the other hand, grow in a ball, and to grow them to maturity requires a slightly longer period of time. Some of these lettuce varieties can be softer or harder, like with the familiar iceberg lettuce.
Romaine lettuce, for example, grows in a loose ball and produces long-leaves after about two months of cultivation. Similarly, asparagus salad has an edible, crunchy stalk like asparagus, as well as producing leaves which you can also eat. Already at the point when the stem is growing, you can carefully harvest the leaves to add to your salad mix.
Those Interested is something other than mild sweet salads may want to explore arugula. Arugula is the nutty and slightly bitter-tasting salad from Italian cuisine, known as rocket, which is easy to grow inside. For example, try wild rocket, which grows quickly and is a refreshing addition to a regular green salad. For a crop with a greater yield of vitamins, try cultivating a leafy cabbage such as Lacy Kale or Japanese Mizuna, and adding it to salads.
Planting lettuce and growing from seed
Just as a commercially bought lettuce is best kept in the vegetable tray of the fridge, a cultivated lettuce also prefers to grow in a cool place. The best temperature for a lettuce is 16-20 degrees, but even at a little over 24 degrees the quality of the lettuce begins to deteriorate and the seeds will not germinate. So keep the lettuce away from radiators and other heat sources, because a lettuce that grows too hot will be dry and will start to taste bitter. However, in order to develop, a lettuce still requires a sunny and bright place to grow.
When planting lettuce, it is advisable to take into account the recommended seedling spacing for each variety. For example, crisphead lettuce requires a lot of space to form a ball, so seeds which are sown too densely may need to be thinned. Moisture-free, non-fertilized soil and sand mixture is recommended as a growing medium, but lettuce can also be grown using the aquaculture method, for example. At the growth stage, however, lettuce requires the same nutrients as other cultivated plants.
If this all sounds a bit complicated, remember it doesn’t have to be. Discover the Plantui smart garden, which ensures the perfect growing conditions for cultivating your lettuce anywhere indoors, for example, right there on your own kitchen table.
When lettuce is grown indoors, it can be harvested throughout the year and already during the growth phase. Leafy lettuce can be eaten during the harvest by picking off individual leaves or the whole plant, as long as the growth head is preserved. Crisphead lettuce, on the other hand, is harvested using the outermost leaves first, while the stem of the asparagus salad is not ready for harvest until it is about 30 centimeters long.