Starting lettuce from seed

Posted: August 14, 2017

Because I encourage everyone to grow at least some of their own food, regardless of whether or not they have a yard, I thought it would be fun to grow some lettuce in a pot on my back deck this year, and I chose buttercrunch, which is one of my favorite lettuces.

I planted the seeds in late May, and by June 18, I had some beautiful baby lettuce. That’s when I realized I should have planted a lot more seeds, if I wanted to harvest enough baby lettuce for a salad at that point. So, I just had a taste, and it was great. A couple of weeks later by July 1, the pot was filling up. Two to three weeks later, I had beautiful little heads of lettuce, which were delicious.

True to its description, it lived through the summer heat like a champ. It never bolted. We’re in zone 5 in central Illinois and have had lots of lettuces bolt here by late June or early July.

The only challenge with growing lettuce in pots is that if they have drain holes, they need to be watered at least every other day. Every day would be ideal. I went three days one time because we had a huge rain, and everything in the garden was still doing great, so I wasn’t thinking that anything needed water. The lettuce, however, wilted. Luckily I was able to bring it back to life with a good watering.

I added some onion sets to the pot to make it look more decorative but also because I love green onions. For additional variety, it would be pretty to include a red lettuce in the pot, and a few basil seeds. As the lettuce is harvested, the basil is starting to get big enough to fill the pot.

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Deborah Niemann-Boehle

Deborah Niemann and her family moved to 32 acres on a creek in the middle of nowhere to grow their own food organically in 2002. They have goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry to provide meat, eggs, and dairy, while a garden and fruit trees provide produce. They even have maple trees and bee hives for their own homegrown sweeteners. She is the author of four books, including Homegrown and Handmade: A Practical Guide to More Self-Reliant Living.

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One response to “Starting lettuce from seed”

  1. ANNAREED says:

    Hi Deborah Niemann,
    I am a gardener and mother of two cute children so I always make sure that my family has the fresh vegetables.
    I have found out so much useful information on your blog,
    Thank you so much.

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