How to Grow Loose Leaf Crops in a Container Garden

Learn how to easily grow loose leaf greens at home with this simple step-by-step guide for container gardening.

Pick Container Grown Lettuce Leaves When Young

Pick Container Grown Lettuce Leaves When Young

Pick the loose leaves at the base of the lettuce plant, level with the surface of the soil. The loose leaf lettuce will then eventually grow again. More seed can be sown in amongst the leaves for a continuous supply of lettuce.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • loose leaf seeds of choice
  • container with drainage holes
  • compost
  • watering can
  • balanced liquid fertilizer

Step 1: Add Compost and Sow Seeds

Sow Lettuce Seeds in Shallow Drills

Sow Lettuce Seeds in Shallow Drills

Loose leaf lettuce is an ideal crop to try in containers. Use soil based compost or multipurpose soil and sow seeds in shallow drills. Cover until seedlings appear.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Ensure the container has drainage holes before filling with compost, leaving a gap below the rim to allow for easy watering. Make shallow drills, sow seeds and cover. For an early start, sow indoors.

Step 2: Move the Crops Outside

Lettuce Seeds Germinate After Two Weeks

Lettuce Seeds Germinate After Two Weeks

Lettuce seedlings usually begin to appear between 1 and 2 weeks after planting. Keep them watered and fertilize every other week.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Seeds germinate after about two weeks, depending on the crop. Move indoor- raised crops outside when the risk of frost has passed. Water the plants well, and feed every other week with a balanced liquid fertilizer.

Step 3: Sow More Seed

Container-grown crops are best harvested regularly as individual leaves, picked when young and tender. Leave the plants to grow, but sow more seed to give a prolonged crop. Replace older plants every few weeks.

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