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Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 6/11/2014

IN THE GARDEN

Lettuce is easy 
to grow

Snip and serve; Grow indoors; Water, please

BY KELLY HEIDBREDER
GARDENING COLUMNIST FOR THE BLADE
Kelly Heidbreder Kelly Heidbreder
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Isn’t it great when you can serve dinner straight from your garden?

I just love being able to ramble around the garden with my basket and go through my own produce section. It is a little bit thin right now since the asparagus has finished and the tomatoes are just in bloom. But I have a bumper crop of salad.

If you have limited garden space, keep some pots of essential things on your deck in a sunny spot. One of my favorite centerpieces on the patio table is the huge bowl of fresh lettuce. Not only are they beautiful, they are tasty and easy to grow.

It is packed with Bibb, leaf lettuce, red leaf, and tall romaine. It is nice combination of gourmet lettuce. Other varieties like salad bowl, and Great Lakes are good choices. It is also nice to add in a little spinach for a change of pace.

Don’t forget about the herbs like basil and mint. They are easy to grow and can handle life in a pot.

 

Snip and serve

Small sprouts of lettuce will keep producing more leaves if you clip them. Let the small sprouts mature into robust leaves, then harvest the bundle. Don’t worry, they will be back.

I did an experiment with my pot of fresh lettuce. I cut half of the plants down and used the leaves for a big salad and ingredients for bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. I left the other half for another day. It took the harvested plants just about eight days to produce more leaves and I was ready for more BLTs.

 

Grow indoors

Lettuce is an easy plant to grow indoors if you have enough light. Most varieties are quick growers and their seeds will mature in just 45 days. Lighting is extremely important if you are growing your lettuce inside. It will need up to 16 hours of light each day.

It is tough to get 16 hours of constant light from a window in your house. To keep it growing strong, you might have to set up a grow light to hang over your lettuce plants.

 

Water, please

Your lettuce crop will need water. Keep an eye on the leaves. Once they start to wilt, they need some water. Don’t let them dry out or you could lose your fresh salad bowl for the rest of the summer. Keep them evenly moist without over watering them because that can cause an early death too.

Contact Kelly Heidbreder at getgrowing@gmail.com 



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