How to grow lettuce indoors

growing lettuce indoors
© Marcela Abrach/Shutterstock

If there's one vegetable I wish I could have on tap, it's lettuce. I make salads all the time, so I end up buying a lot of greens. This backfires because lettuce takes up so much space in my fridge that I have no room for other things. I rapidly evolve into an herbivore; my incisors fall out and I grow an extra stomach. And who has time for that much digestion?

Luckily, I discovered a solution: I can grow my own lettuce inside, thus allowing me to have infinite lettuce all year (maybe? hopefully?). Here's how.

Choose a location

sunny window© Hakinmhan/Shutterstock
Lettuce doesn't need a crazy amount of sun, but the more the better. So walk through your home and find a sunny spot. For extra points, make it a spot with a window facing south.
Avoid traps. Don't plant your veggies right next to, say, a fireplace or your dog's food bowl, unless he too has evolved into an herbivore and really needs the nutrition.

Choose seeds

plant seeds© Banderchenno/Shutterstock
Arctic King, Tom Thumb and Winter Marvel may sound like reindeer that escaped Santa and became wrestlers, but I hear they're actually types of lettuce suited for winter and indoor light. Do the research and pick a species made to do well inside.

Plant

soil in hands© bluedog studio/Shutterstock
Find a shallow container (take out dishes with holes punched in the bottoms work too). Use a planting mix specifically designed for seed starting. Scatter the seeds and cover them with a thin layer of soil.

Keep the soil moist. They'll sprout after a week or so. Once they do, thin them out so seedlings are about an inch apart.

Harvest

lettuce varieties© Neil Langan/Shutterstock
Keep watering. After about a month, you'll have lettuce! Hopefully. If you do, eat the outer leaves, letting the inner ones keep growing. And don't let any runaway reindeer wrestlers snack on them. Those guys can fit a lot of lettuce in all their stomachs.

How to grow lettuce indoors
Never be without a salad again.

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