At almost every meal we eat some meat, a side dish, and some salad. The only problem with that is that it will not grow in the winter, so you will have to either buy it from the supermarket or grown your own at home, somewhere inside. Since you are reading this article, I can assume that you are wanting to plant your own salad indoors. Here are some of the things to take into consideration if you want to do that.
Can I grow lettuce in my AeroGarden?
Yes. Lettuce is one of the salad greens that you can grow all year long inside with your indoor garden. The salad should take about 4 weeks from being planted up to the point, where it is ready to be harvested. After that, you should be able to harvest your lettuce for about 3 to 4 months.
If you want, you can check my favorite lettuce to grow in your AeroGarden HERE.
Which is the best AeroGarden for lettuce?
Lettuce will not take up as much space as for example tomatoes or bell peppers. This basically means that you can grow lettuce in any model of the indoor garden that you have. The only problem will be that this salad green should be harvested often and therefore results in a small daily outcome. If you want enough to fill up a bowl you should definitely have more pods planted at one time. My best suggestion is the harvest model.
How to harvest lettuce?
There are two different types of harvesting your lettuce. The first one is called “the haircut” and the second one is single- leaf harvesting. I bet that you can tell what I am talking about just from reading the names right? If your leaves are bigger I would recommend doing the haircut, but if they are smaller then you should probably go with the single-leaf method.
Even though you might not be a hairdresser, you probably get what I mean with that. Just trim the top of your leaves and they are ready to go in the bowl. You should only trim them about 1/3 of their size, otherwise, you might stop the leaf from growing back. The soonest that you can start doing this is about 3 weeks after you have planted it (depends on the size). After that, you will be able to harvest your lettuce about 2 to 3 times per week for 3 to 4 months.
This method is really good because it includes some benefits for your plant. When you are harvesting it this way, you look for the bigger leaves and cut them as low as possible, using either scissors or gardening shears. The benefit that I mentioned is that when you cut away the bigger leaves, more light gets absorbed by the smaller ones and thus increases their growth speed.
At both methods, it is really important that you start harvesting early and then do it often. I would recommend that you do it as much as you can (2-3 times every week after the third week when it is ready to be harvested)
What about temperature?
Salad greens do prefer cold weather. If they are growing in a warmer environment they will think that it is already summer and thus start producing seeds, which means that they will not be edible anymore (well you could eat it, but the taste will be horrible). The best temperature for growing lettuce is from 55 up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (12.8 to 21.1 degrees Celsius).
When to harvest?
Like I have said before, the best time to start harvesting is about 3 weeks after you have planted the seed pod. After that, if you harvest it at least twice a week, you should be able to continue harvesting it for several months. The longest that I have been harvesting a single seed pod was about 5 months.
Lettuce and herbs together
A lot of people have asked me if they could plant some herbs with lettuce. The answer is yes. You can easily mix salad greens with other plants, especially herbs because they do not take up so much space. I always tell people to “mix it up” a little and try to grow a variety of plants at once.
Lettuce is the fastest growing indoor crop. If you have kids I assure you that they will really love watching it grow daily.
-Preparing your salad; When you are preparing your lettuce for a salad, make sure to tear it up with your hands instead of cutting it with a sharp kitchen knife. If you cut it with a knife it will end up turning brown on the edges before you eat it. Trust me you do not want your salad to turn brown.
-How to make your lettuce crunchy; a lot of people, including me, prefer the lettuce more tender. The way to achieve that beautiful structure is to point a fan towards your lettuce. It will get more tender because it is toughening up to survive the wind.
-Clean before you eat! Even though you have been growing your plants in a soil-free environment you should still clean them with clear water before you put them on the table.
You can grow your lettuce inside in your indoor garden. It should take about three weeks until your first harvest. After that, you will want to harvest your lettuce 2 to 3 times a week to get the most out of it. One seed pod should last about 5 months, which means that you can harvest it for 4. You can make it more crispy with a fan and you should always tear it apart instead of cutting it when it comes to preparing a salad. This way your edges will not turn brown. From all the plants you can grow inside, this is definitely the fastest rising one. You will see how fast it grows back after you harvest it.
Thank you so much for reading this article. Have you ever tried growing salad greens indoors? How did it turn out? Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks again and have a nice day!