- AeroGarden Lettuce Planting
- AeroGarden Lettuce Growing
- AeroGarden Lettuce Harvesting
- Extra Notes
Do you eat salad almost every other day and own an indoor garden system? If so, then you’re definitely finding a way to plant AeroGarden lettuce. Well, you are in the right place.
This article is dedicated to all of the AeroGarden noobs out there. We will help you go over how to get homegrown lettuce and tips to improve your lettuce yield.
AeroGarden Lettuce Planting
Is lettuce difficult to plant?
Fortunately, lettuce is one of the most easy-growing plants. This plant is barely affected by insects and disease, hence requires less care and maintenance than other salad greens.
Besides, no indoor plants that suit small spaces better than lettuce. For this reason, this type of vegetables is an ideal option that can be grown right inside your home at any time of the year.
What’s more, things can be even easier with the AeroGarden systems. These soil-free indoor gardens help your lettuce grow 5 times faster than normal soil. The roots will mature in an AeroGarden with air and water while receiving the balance between several liquid nutrients. Just add greens pod, water, nutrients, and you’re good to go.
Which lettuce variety should I choose?
You will have a wide range of lettuces to choose from. Most varieties grow in 50 days on average, enabling you to plant 2 or 3 crops simultaneously.
Some certain varieties take less time to grow. Looseleaf and butterhead lettuces can be harvested at any time during their development process. Meanwhile, the maturity period of heading sorts is pretty much longer. For instance, the growing time of crisphead lettuce is 70 to 100 days, and that of romaine ones is 75 to 85 days.
Aerogarden Romaine Lettuce
Based on this general information, you can calculate your own demand to select the most suitable variety for your indoor garden.
Can I plant lettuce together with other plants in my AeroGarden?
As mentioned earlier, lettuces don’t take up much space; therefore, you can totally create a combination. We encourage you to do this so that you can enjoy a great salad greens mix regularly. The companion plants should be space-saving like lettuce itself – herbs and sprouts, for example.
Which AeroGarden can be used for lettuce?
Lettuces require little space to develop, meaning they go with most AeroGarden models on the market.
If you only intend to grow lettuces or mix them with some kinds of herbs, we suggest using the AeroGarden Classic line.
If you want to mix tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbages, and other big plants with your lettuce, go for large units with 6 or 9 pods. The AeroGarden Bounty could be a brilliant choice in this case.
AeroGarden Lettuce Growing
In general, all salad greens, including lettuce, grow in the winter better than in the summer. This is because they usually produce seeds in the summer and are inedible during this season.
In other words, chilly temperatures are suitable for growing this type of plant indoors. The optimal temperature range for lettuce to thrive on is between 55 and 70 F (12.8 to 21.1 C).
As such, it is recommended to put your lettuce garden in the coolest corner of your house and avoid sunny windows. Using a fan to ventilate air and keep the plant always cool is also a good idea. Avoid warm areas as much as possible, if you put your lettuce garden in a place like that, the lettuce will assume that summertime has come, and it’s time for seed producing.
Naturally grown lettuce gets taller when receiving more light. This results in the “big head” shape you often see in stores.
In fact, you can hardly see the lettuce grown indoors under artificial lighting conditions display this “heading” development habit. That’s why you should add more grow light to your AeroGarden lettuce by keeping the LED lights low to the plants. The closer the distance is, the more light the lettuce can absorb.
However, if the lettuces’ grow faster than you expect and reaches maturity so soon, it will come too close to the light source and get brown up (taste bitter, just to let you know). So, you have to do the math, and arrange the light source so that the distance between it and your greens remains at 5-6 inches and never falls lower than 4.
Furthermore, we suggest regularly trimming to keep the lettuces well below the light. Prune the tops evenly to stabilize the distance and eat the salad before the plants reach the LED light position.
Some people are craving tender lettuces, some fall in love with crunchy ones. It’s up to you to select between these two. The plants grown in an AeroGarden or any indoor garden system are way more tender than natural ones. Therefore if you prefer such a soft structure, just leave the green in your AeroGarden along with the basics that it needs and nothing more.
Other people, including me, love the sound when chewing crunchy salad. To add more bite into the lettuce, we need to toughen it up because it lives indoors without any “challenges” from mother nature such as sun, pest, or wind.
In this situation, simply directing a fan at the lettuce garden can solve the problem. Not only is the little fan used to cool off the plant but also to create your favorite texture. The wind will make the lettuce produce thicker leaves as a means of self protection, keeping them from being torn apart.
AeroGarden Lettuce Harvesting
When is lettuce ready to harvest?
You can start harvesting the lettuce 3 or 4 weeks after planting seeds. And thanks to the quickly growing back, you can cut your lettuce approximately 2-3 times per week to get the most out of it.
Supplies you might need
Now we’ve come to the most anticipated stage. But before taking out the lettuce for meals, you should prepare these following tools:
- gardening kit, including prune shears
- containers to place your vegetables and easily store in a refrigerator
The Harvest Methods
You can harvest AeroGarden lettuce in either two ways, depending on how you want your lettuce to grow back.
With this method, you will trim 1 to 2 inches from the tops of all the lettuce leaves in the garden. Remember to prune all of them evenly, in equal proportion. Also, do not take out more than 1/3 of the leaf (always leave 2/3 of it to let it grow back).
To harvest lettuce using this way, you will cut only bigger leaves, not every leaf in the AeroGarden. But you have to cut away an entire leaf, in other words, as low as possible. This will create more chances for smaller ones to get closer to the lights and air, increasing their growth speed.
To be honest, we prefer the cut-off method. It allows your yields to expand comprehensively – wider and larger. Meanwhile, the trimming is like doing a crew haircut; it develops vertically.
Maximizing the growing productivity
We recommend using the seed pod kits included in every AeroGarden package or buying separated seed kits from the same brand.
These salad greens seeds are tested to ensure absolute integrity with your AeroGarden system. You will be satisfied with the rapid and strong growth and have nothing to complain about.
Additionally, don’t forget to fill up your water tank every day, especially when you use large capacity AeroGarden (6 pods and above).
How much lettuce is enough for normal use?
It depends. How often do you eat salads? Or do you just use lettuce for a couple of sandwiches here and there?
We recommend planting 2 pods (maybe 3 if you’re confident about your love for lettuce) at your first attempt to estimate the exact amount you want. To make a regular salad, you should cut maybe 7 to 9 leaves per person at a time. That’s our clue for you to calculate.
When you plant, try joining several varieties if possible or buy an already mixed salad greens seed kit. For instance, you might grow 2 romaine, 2 butterheads, 1 spinach, 1 herb on a standard 6-pod structure. Otherwise, you can buy 2 units, one is pure lettuce, and the other is herbs, tomatoes, peppers, etc.
Tips for tastier salad
Although AeroGarden is a soil-free environment, your lettuce is still in contact with chemical nutrients or organic matters. Therefore, you should rinse the pods under clear water before serving them on the table.
As we said before, overheating can lead to bolting, making the plant surprisingly flower and become inedible.
To prevent this problem, you should:
- Regularly check the water temperature. If it gets warmer than room temperature, pour in cold water or add ice cubes to the tank to balance it out.
- Keep the LED at the accurate position (4-6 inches above the plants)
- If you catch the bolting early, you can remove the flowering parts and give your lettuce more time until harvest
Aerogarden lettuce is one of the fastest-growing indoor plants ever. You are going to enjoy seeing it grow every day. The interesting thing about growing your own plant indoors is that you get the heeling comfort while still saving money on everyday food.
Moreover, each seed pod’s lifespan is up to 4 months, allowing you to enjoy fresh vegetables all year long. Who isn’t fond of being healthy with tasty homemade lettuce, right? In short, we cannot think of any reason to say no to a garden of this sort!