How to Grow Lettuce Inside

You can grow lettuce inside in containers for a fresh supply of salads all winter long. Put containers in your sunniest south- or southeast-facing window. If this is not possible, use grow lights made out of inexpensive shop lights that hold several florescent bulbs. Using half cool light bulbs and half light warm light bulbs will provide your plants with the widest spectrum of light possible. Grow lights should be a few inches above the top of the plants, and be moved up as the plants grow. Leave lights on for at least 12 hours a day, but up to 16 hours. Turn lights off to allow dark for at least 8 hours per day.

Choosing fast maturing lettuce varieties that are shade tolerant will give the best results. Lettuce is a heavy feeder, which means it needs nutrient rich soil to thrive. In containers, the best choice is soilless mixes made out of organic non-soil ingredients. These are usually a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite, and sometimes other ingredients. To add to soil nutrition, add bone meal and Azomite®.

How to Grow Lettuce Inside: Good Varieties

Bronze Arrow lettuce is a cut and come again variety with oak leaf shaped leaves and reddish brown tips. It is slow to bolt and shade tolerant. (1)

Australian Yellowleaf lettuce is an Australian heirloom lettuce that is uniquely colored chartreuse. This tender textured variety is shade tolerant and slow to bolt. (1)

Cracoviensis lettuce is a French heirloom lettuce dating back to at least 1885. Its crinkly leaves are mottled with red, and are tender and mild. (1)

Crisp Mint lettuce has flavorful, mint green leaves. It forms compact heads and tolerates partial shade. (1)

Gold Rush lettuce is frilly, light-green variety with unique texture. It has a mild and fresh flavor. (1)

Mascara lettuce is a striking red, curly, frilly, oak-leafed lettuce that retains its color in hot weather. This beautiful lettuce has a mild flavor and tolerates partial shade. (1)

Black Seeded Simpson lettuce is an heirloom lettuce and an old favorite. This light green variety is very tasty and early maturing. (2)

E-Z Cut lettuce is light green with crunchy, rumpled leaves. This productive, long-lasting variety is easy to harvest. (2)

Revolution lettuce is a red, lollo rosso cutting lettuce. It makes an excellent cutting lettuce for salads. (2)

Blushed Icy Oak Lettuce tastes buttery and sweet like a butterhead lettuce. This beautiful lettuce has creamy green bases with maroon edges and pink midribs. (2)

 Tango Lettuce is a tangy, flavorful looseleaf variety with frilly leaves somewhat like endive. Its crisp flavor makes excellent baby greens. (3)

Loma Lettuce is a lettuce for main course meals, since it provides substance. This French crisp lettuce is a Batavian type with glossy, thick, firm green leaves with slight ruffling the edges. (3)

Nevada Lettuce is a Batavia lettuce and is all green with thick, crunchy, nutty flavored leaves. This lettuce is an excellent cut and come again variety which stores longer than other types when cooled immediately after picking. (2, 3)

Lolla Rossa Lettuce is a tasty Italian heirloom lettuce which matures in about 55 days.
Lolla Rossa Lettuce

Source for seeds and information:

(1) seedsavers.org

(2)   cooksgarden.com

(3)   territorialseed.com

 

About Olympia


My name is Olympia Paz, and I am a graduate of Kansas State University.with extensive studies in soil science (agronomy), horticultural science, and biology. I have continued my own studies in these areas, especially soil science, and applied my knowledge to growing nutritious organic food in my home gardens, containers, and inside.

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