Planting lettuce in a pot or flower box: This is how you can grow crispy salads yourself!

Who doesn’t like fresh, crunchy salad? Salads are full of vitamins and are perfect as an accompaniment to various dishes. And what can be better than growing them yourself? Today we are going to show you how easy it is to plant lettuce in a pot and harvest fresh lettuce leaves at home. In the article, we reveal which are the perfect conditions and what else you should consider when growing lettuce.

Can you grow lettuce in a pot at home??

Place a flower box with lettuce plants by the window

Do you want to grow vegetables but don’t have a lot of space outside for a garden? Or are you just not interested in digging up a large part of your lawn? Then we have good news for you – there are vegetables and herbs that you can grow indoors on the kitchen counter or by a sunny window. And lettuce plants are one of them.

Why grow lettuce yourself?

Pick lettuce leaves from your own balcony garden

Salads are the perfect summer meal and a tasty addition to your lunch box. They’re also healthy because they’re low in vitamin K, antioxidants, low carbohydrates, low calories, and a low glycemic index. But why bother growing lettuce yourself when you can find it in the supermarket all year round? Here are a few reasons for growing yourself:

It tastes better

Let’s start with the obvious. Home-grown lettuce simply tastes better. It’s fresh, it’s grown in good soil (which you chose yourself), and it hasn’t been washed, sprayed, and processed before it lands on your plate.

If you need a little more conviction, get a fresh salad from a gardener friend or from your local farmers market. After the first bite, you’ll be ready to grow your own.

Growing lettuce in the pot at home different types of lettuce

You control the quality and diversity yourself

The best thing about growing yourself is that you decide what goes into the soil and plants. And you can decide for yourself which strains you want to grow. That means you have a lot more options than what your local grocer has to offer.

The fruits and vegetables in the supermarket (even if there is now a much larger selection) are bred in such a way that they grow quickly and last longer. Taste and nutritional value are not that important. The opposite is true when you are growing your own vegetables. You can choose varieties that taste amazing but may not keep in the refrigerator for more than a few hours after you’ve picked them.

It is healthier

Lastly, your home grown salad will be much healthier. The nutrients start to spoil quickly after the vegetables are harvested. If you grow your own lettuce, it can get off the ground and onto the table in less than an hour. It doesn’t get fresher, which means you get more vitamins in your food.

And because you control the soil, additives, and everything that happens to the plants as they grow, you can limit exposure to pesticides, insecticides, and the like. When you grow organically, you know it is actually organic.

Planting lettuce in a pot: the most important things at a glance

How to plant lettuce in a pot tips

You can grow lettuce both on the balcony and on a bright windowsill. In order for the salad to thrive, you should create the perfect conditions for it. Here are the main points to consider.

Which location?

The right location for growing lettuce at home should be light, but not too hot. Salad needs three to four hours of sun a day. In principle, more does not hurt, as long as it does not get too hot in the location and the lettuce is not exposed to direct sunlight all day.

When to grow lettuce?

Spring is the perfect time to grow lettuce in pots. At this time of year there is enough sunlight and the temperatures are not yet too high. In March, April and May, sow the lettuce that you want to eat in 2-3 weeks every 2-3 weeks. The lettuce in the pot is ready for harvest about 8 weeks after sowing (if seeds are used). You can also grow lettuce on a cool balcony in summer.

Grow lettuce in a pot on the windowsill

What pot?

Most lettuce plants such as plucked and cut salads do not have deep roots and can therefore be planted in normal flower boxes. A simple pot, a large bowl and old cookware are ideal for planting lettuce. Salads with large heads, such as lettuce, thrive better in deeper vessels.

What earth?

The right soil should be rich in nutrients. Normal garden soil mixed with some compost is best. If the soil is enriched with compost at the beginning, then the additional fertilization is canceled later.

What distance?

If you want to plant several lettuce plants in a flower box, a distance of 10 to 15 centimeters is necessary between the individual plants.

What fertilizer?

A liquid fertilizer is not necessary for a single salad in the pot. However, if several lettuces are planted in the same container, it is recommended to re-fertilize once every three weeks after the first harvest.

The advantages of growing lettuce in a pot

Grow lettuce in a pot on the balcony

Pots and boxes are an excellent alternative to the classic vegetable patch if you want to grow your own salad. They also have a significant advantage over the bed: They can be placed out of the reach of pests such as slugs. Likewise, if you grow the lettuce in a pot, you don’t need to worry about it freezing in the cold.

Which lettuce can I plant in the flower box??

which pots for growing lettuce plants

Some salads are better suited to pot growing than others. Here we have listed the best varieties for the balcony.

  • Picked and cut salads – These types of lettuce are ideal for growing in pots or boxes, as they do not form a classic head of lettuce, but only leaf rosettes. If you harvest the outer leaves, new ones will always grow back in their place. Suitable varieties are Lollo Rosso, Lollo Biondo and oak leaf lettuce.
  • Lamb’s Lettuce – If you are looking for a type of salad that you can grow every season, then lamb’s lettuce is the right choice. It is hardy and can thrive on the balcony.
  • Rocket – Still known as rocket, this leafy vegetable is very healthy. A distinction is made between wild rocket, which is perennial and has a bitter taste, and rocket, which is annual and somewhat milder. If you plan to grow arugula, you should water the lettuce regularly, otherwise the leaves will turn out sharp.

Planting lettuce in a pot – that’s how it works!

Plant lettuce in the pot which varieties

Picked salads are available both as pre-grown young plants and as seed mixes in specialist gardeners. We’ll first show you a very simple method for growing lettuce. To grow lettuce on the windowsill you will need:

  • Lettuce in a pot from the store (or lettuce cuttings) – only the roots are needed for planting, the leaves can be eaten for lunch
  • a flower pot or container that you no longer need
  • Earth – normal potting soil
  • Fertilizer – best liquid fertilizer for vegetables or dry mineral fertilizer
  • Optional – vermiculite, hydrogel or coconut fiber

Fill the planter with coconut fibers and soil and remove the lettuce roots from the pot

1. Prepare the pot with soil. On the floor you can spread coconut substrate for drainage. Coconut substrate is sold in briquettes. You have to soak it first and then break it up as finely as possible. Then put the soil for seedlings, which you can also mix with a small amount of hydrogel.

2. Cut off the lettuce, remove the plastic pot and separate the roots. Usually three lettuce roots grow in one pot. Preferably plant them separately. If the three roots are planted together, the quality of your salad will be much worse.

Put the lettuce in the soil, separate the roots

3. Put the lettuce in the ground and water it. If you use dry fertilizer sticks or tablets, insert them into the soil now. Use half the recommended dose. (Lettuce also grows without fertilizer, but with it it gets more leaves and it looks more appetizing.)

4. You can eat the lettuce leaves after only 2 weeks. After a month, the lettuce will reach its maximum. Then cut off all the leaves, discard the stumps and plant new ones.

You can try to harvest the lettuce roots again, but you will no longer be able to get the same quality of the lettuce from it.

Growing lettuce in a pot from seeds

Salad seedlings in the pot

Salads can also be grown from seeds without any problems. This usually takes a little more time, but this way you are completely sure of the origin of your salads. However, it is recommended to use organic seeds in order to avoid possible genetic engineering.

You can enjoy the salad at home as early as mid-February. Depending on the weather, the lettuce plants can be sown on the balcony from late April or early May.

Please note that most salads belong to the so-called light germinators and need sunlight to germinate. Therefore, they must not be sown too deep, but only lightly covered with earth.

More tips

Pour salads in the balcony box as often

Would you like to harvest delicious salads every season? Here are a few more tips that will ensure a good harvest:

  • Although pests cannot easily attack the pots, you should regularly check the lettuce for insects and vermin.
  • On hot days, it is important to provide the lettuce with plenty of water to avoid rapid flowering. If the lettuce begins to flower too quickly, the leaves will turn bitter.
  • If you apply a thick layer of organic mulch, the soil moisture will be retained and the soil temperature will be moderated in the cold months.
  • When choosing lettuce to grow, be aware that the best conditions for different types of lettuce can vary more or less.