I don’t know about you, but I hate having to buy lettuce to make salad with.

Usually, I purchase the bagged lettuce because it is convenient and already cut up.  What I really don’t like is the price for buying it this way.  So, I have started buying lettuce and tearing it up myself.

Last fall, winter and spring, I got very spoiled by being able to just step outside into the back garden and cutting some lettuce from my own garden.

I had grown a mixture of all kinds of leaf lettuce and spinach.
It was absolutely delicious too.
It was very hard when the warm temperatures came and lettuce would not grow anymore.
I have planted a lot of leaf lettuce and spinach in my vegetable garden and have lots of little seedlings coming up.
So, can you do if you want fresh lettuce and don’t have a vegetable garden?

What can you do?
How about planting a salad bowl?
I found these salad bowls for sale at a farmer’s market in North Carolina last year.
It is really easy to make your own.
Here’s how:
1. Choose a planter that is at least 8 inches deep (12 inches is best) with holes for drainage.
2. Fill with potting soil and wet the soil thoroughly.
3. Plant with lettuce seeds.  I like leaf lettuce, but you can arugula, escarole and water cress.  If you prefer, you can simply plant lettuce transplants, available at your local nursery.

4. Put your container by a window that gets at least 6 – 8 hours of sun, but avoid the hot, afternoon sun.

5. Keep the soil moist by using a spray bottle filled with water.  You will usually have to spray once a day.

6. Once the seeds germinate, back off on the watering, but don’t let the soil dry out.

7. Thin the seedlings to the recommended distance that your seed packet recommends and fertilize every 2 weeks using fertilizer at half strength.

8. Begin harvesting your leaf lettuce by simply snipping off the outer leaves.  Your lettuce will continue to produce new leaves to replace those lost.

Once your lettuce starts to ‘bolt’ (grow tall), it is time to pull it out and start over again.

So forget about paying a lot for lettuce at the grocery store and plant your own bowl 🙂

*****************

I hope you are all of to a good start this week.  

Today is my daughter’s 25th birthday and she is 3 weeks away from her due date.  I am very excited about being a grandma 🙂
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

5 replies
  1. elaine rickett
    elaine rickett says:

    Growing salad leaves is a great way of eating lettuce – I grow some right through the winter in the greenhouse and by just breaking off leaves instead of pulling up the whole plant it lasts for weeks and weeks.

    Reply
  2. Ginny
    Ginny says:

    I have two window box sized containers of lettuce seedlings on my deck right now. Last fall I planted spinach and lettuce and it lasted right through the winter! I've not had much success growing it in the ground – the rabbits eat it usually – but growing it in containers is SO easy!

    Reply
  3. HolleyGarden
    HolleyGarden says:

    Oh, my gosh! What a great idea! I totally love fresh lettuce, but refuse to pay for the bland stuff at the grocery story – or the exorbitant prices in restaurants! I have some planted in the ground right now, but I'm going to remember this for the high heat of summer, and the dead of winter. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. biobabbler
    biobabbler says:

    Just so you know, for days now, I've been picturing a bit pot full of lettuces. Apparently my subconscious REALLY wants one of those. =) Thanks for the apparently VERY effective inspiration.

    Reply

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