Growing Lettuce in a Container

By: Dan Hagan - Managing Editor

Lettuce is a staple in gardens all around the country. With delicious verities that range from romaine lettuce to bibb lettuce that are all easy and quick to grow it is easy to see why lettuce is so popular. Lettuce naturally has a small, shallow root system. This makes the plant an ideal candidate for being grown in a container.

Here is how it is done:


Sow seed indoors 4 weeks before last frost or 3 months before first frost. Lettuce is a cool weather plant and does best when daytime temperatures are 70 or bellow.

Prepare a container that is at least 2 ½ gallons with a rich potting mix that contains high levels of nutrients and can retain moisture.

Transplant seedling on a cloudy day to the container and place outside in an area that receives 6 hours of sunlight.

Maintain soil moisture as much as possible. Lettuce likes a moist soil and reacts poorly to inconstant soil moisture.

Fertilize with a high nitrogen liquid fertilizer. Lettuce responds very well to liquid fertilizers and because it is fast growing, slow releasing fertilizers are not recommended.

Harvest at maturity. Each type of lettuce matures a bit different but a simple general rule is once the lettuce is big enough to fit on a sandwich it is ready to start harvesting.

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