Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lettuce Container Gardens

Every spring, I enjoy deciding what and where I'm going to plant various flowers, herbs, and vegetables. This year, I'm going to be growing more plants in pots. I found a helpful post over at Southern Living that features 101 Container Gardening Ideas, which is filled with lots of wonderful inspiration! I was especially interested in a few of the ideas that showed lettuce container gardens. I thought these looked so pretty–lettuce makes an attractive, wonderful filler and you have the added bonus of having something edible growing with your pretty flowers! Here are some of the ideas I saw...

Lettuce and ornamentals: In these container garden arrangements, lettuce is mixed in with marigolds and geraniums.

Here's another pretty arrangement of lettuce mixed in with violas and mums.

You can use different varieties of lettuce to add different color and texture to your arrangements. Like these colorful red and green Wildfire mix lettuces. Keep your pot in a sunny spot that gets 4 to 6 hours of sun daily.

Here are a few other lettuce growing tips I found at Southern Living:

  • When harvesting loose-leaf types of lettuce, pick just the outer leaves near the bottom of the plant so the plant can keep growing. For romaine or butterhead lettuce, you should cut off the entire head of lettuce. Always wash lettuce before eating.
  • If you've never grown lettuce before, it may be easier to start out by purchasing small plants. Don't plant too deeply in your pots (or the ground). Water gently.
  • If planting from seeds, sow seeds by dampening the soil and then sprinkle the seeds on top of it. Cover with a thin layer of soil, then gently water daily until they germinate.
  • Lettuce needs to be in a spot that gets four to six hours of sun each day.
  • Lettuce grows best in good soil that is loose, well-drained and enriched with organic matter like leaf mold or compost. You can use a lightweight potting mix in containers, and make sure your pot has a hole in the bottom for drainage. 
  • Lettuce does best when the soil is consistently moist, so water regularly.
  • In the south, lettuce tends to do best during the cooler days of early spring or fall.
Are you ready to start your lettuce container garden now? How nice it will be to use home-grown lettuce in your salads!

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