How to Grow Lettuce Indoors

Four lettuce varieties in a flower pot on a wooden table

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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
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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

Person scattering seeds
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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.


Woman holding a newly planted seed tray
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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.


Various types of lettuce in a wooden box
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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.