How to Grow Lettuce Indoors at Home
A touch of green to your lunch and dinner instantly brightens up the mood and is also good for our digestive system. And these green vegetables are even healthier and crispier if you can get it fresh right from your own home. Lettuce is one such plant which can be grown in your home all the year around and without much fuss. In this article we will know how to grow lettuce indoors at home. Start growing your own vegetables at home and forget about pesticides and other substances found on the vegetables you buy at supermarkets.
Where to plant lettuce at home
At first choose the best place in your home where you can grow lettuce. This plant needs a place which is open to sunlight but not under direct sunlight, such as beside window sill. The best place indoor to grow your lettuce plant is a south facing window.
Also take care that your plants are not near any active heat spot or cold drafts.
Temperature and light to grow lettuce
Average room temperature of 16 to 21 degree Celsius is best for growing lettuce. Take care that the temperature is not too high as lettuce starts to seed quickly under the influence of very hot temperature.
Intense sunlight for 12 to 14 hours is required for lettuce to grow from seeds to plants. But it’s best to avoid them from direct sunlight. Keep them in a window sill which is well lit. Lettuce plant tends to bend toward the light, so keep turning pots to prevent them from bending.
If you don’t have a sunny window or during the winter season when there is scarcity of sunlight, you can use artificial light to raise your plants. Keep the lights on for 14 hours a day and then turn it off. However, the best alternative is to have natural light, as the lettuce will grow healthier and also you won't be spending that much electricity.
Choose your lettuce variety
There are many verities of lettuce and the four basic types are butterhead, cos/romaine, crisphead and loose leaf. For indoor harvest, loose leaf lettuce is considered the best.
Sowing the seeds
Choose a medium size plastic pot with drainage holes for planting the lettuce seeds. Fill the pot with soil keeping an empty space of 2.5 centimeters between the rim of the pot and the top surface of soil.
Now sprinkle the lettuce seeds over the soil uniformly. Take care that there are not too many seeds at one spot. After that, sprinkle some additional soil over the seeds. Take care that you do not put too much soil over the seeds otherwise they will not be able to receive sunlight and will not germinate. Finally water the pot so that the soil is moist but not soaked.
If you can’t find a pot for planting lettuce then you can use a gallon size plastic bag with few small holes in its side.
Monitor the growth
Germination of lettuce occurs within a week or two. As lettuce seedling grows, take care so that they look green and robust. If the seedlings are thin and yellowy then they need more light than they are receiving. As the leaves starts to grow, start feeding the plant with mild liquid fertilizer. Also, keep watering the plant every other day and take care that the soil remains moist.
Harvest the lettuce
After 3 to 4 weeks your lettuce will grow about 4 inches tall. At that time the lettuce leaves are ready to be harvested. Do not snip off the baby leaves in the middle in the beginning. Start harvesting the outer leaves first. Then let the remaining leaves grow for a few more days.
If you want continuous supply of lettuce then plant the seeds in another pot while you are harvesting one pot.
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