Seven Steps Closer To Spring – #6

Seven Steps Closer To Spring – #6

A salad bowl? You can grow that! And you don’t have to wait until it’s OK to plant outside. Here’s what you do:

Choose a container with drainage holes. It could be a pot you already have, a small window box or one you purchase. Lower and wider will produce more lettuce than tall and thin.

Once you have the container, get some new potting soil and a packet of lettuce seeds. Mixed leaf types of lettuce, not head lettuce, are good for inside growing.

Get the potting soil wet before you put it in your container.

Fill the entire pot or box with damp soil. Don’t put anything covering the drainage hole. Don’t put rocks or shards in the bottom of the pot. Find a saucer or tray to put underneath to catch excess water.

Water the soil well to settle it into your container, and then sprinkle the seeds right over the surface. Water the container again and pour out the water that drains into the tray. You don’t need to cover them with soil. Stretch a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the pot to hold in the moisture while the seeds germinate.

Once the seeds germinate take the plastic off. In this window box I’ve sown four types of seed and labeled them, but you can mix them all in together or just use one type of lettuce if you want.

Keep your pot or box by a sunny window and water it as the soil begins to get dry.

Once your salad is large enough to eat, harvest by clipping off the oldest leaves with a pair of scissors. By cutting only the largest leaves you’ll be able to continue to pick fresh lettuce for weeks!

Spring is just around the corner… on Cape Cod we can sow lettuce seeds in cold frames at the end of February, and in the open ground sometime in March depending on how warm the season is.

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