Lettuce is one of the most popular plants to grow in the AeroGarden indoor garden. Quick to germinate and grow, lettuce is tasty, versatile and healthy, it is the near perfect crop for your AeroGarden.
Lettuce grown indoors is free of pesticides and perfect for the fresh salad whenever you want. Throw in some fresh tomatoes from an AeroGarden and it’s sure to satisfy any salad eater.
I’ll cover how to grow and harvest AeroGarden lettuce here.
1. Pick and Plant Lettuce Seeds – Seed Pod Kits
Let’s start with picking the lettuce that you’ll be planting into the AeroGarden. You can grow many types of lettuce indoors, like common garden lettuce.
There are a variety of lettuce seed pod kits available, including:
Last update on 2022-10-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Find various seed pod options for growing lettuce on the AeroGarden website, including your ability to customize your own package of 6, 9, and more seed pods.
Once you have chosen which lettuce to grow, it’s time to plant your seeds. If you have used your AeroGarden before, then you will need to sanitize your garden first following the steps below.
If it is a new system then you skip the sanitization steps.
Sanitizing your Garden for Lettuce Growth
- Fill your bowl with water and add 60ml of chlorine bleach. The bleach can be replaced with 5 cups (1.18 liters) of distilled white vinegar if preferred.
- Using the water pump or aerator, circulate the mixture for at least five minutes.
- Empty the bowl and rinse it out well.
- Refill it with clean water and pump it through the system for another 5 minutes.
- Then empty the bowl and rinse well to ensure all bleach/vinegar residue is removed.
- Reset your nutrient timer.
Planting your Lettuce Seeds
- Fill the bowl to the maximum level indicator with distilled or cool tap water.
- Plant your seed pods. Push the seed pods into the slots on your AeroGarden grow system. Do not remove the labels as these give you valuable information about the plant, as well as helping to inhibit algae growth.
- Once the pods are situated, place a grow dome over each pod.
- Add Nutrients, always use the recommended dosage that is printed on the nutrient bottle.
- Move the lights to the lowest possible position.
2. Growing and Tending to Lettuce
Lettuce is one of the quickest plants from seed to harvest that you can grow in your indoor garden. If you follow the steps below, you can expect to be enjoying leafy lettuce plants in around 3 weeks.
- Remove the Dome – Once you see plants start to emerge from the holes in the seed pod label, it is time to remove the domes. This is best done after the lights have turned off to avoid stressing the plant.
- Keep the Garden Watered and Fed. Always ensure there is plenty of water in the bowl, the water is close to room temperature, and you’re using either fresh tap water or distilled water. The nutrients should be replenished every two weeks. The amount of liquid nutrient you should add is printed on the bottle.
- Grow Lights – For optimal growth, the lights should always be kept at the correct distance from the plant. To maintain green lettuce leaves, keep a 1″ and 2″ gap between the top of your plants and the lights.
- Tending to Your Plants – It is quite normal to see brown or dead leaves at the base of the plant, because they may not get as much light as the lights move higher. The leaves can be pinched off or removed with garden scissors. And be sure to remove the leaves from the grow surface.
By following these simple instructions, you can be enjoying healthy salad greens straight from your AeroGarden in a matter of weeks.
3. Harvesting Lettuce
Lettuce really is a plant that keeps on giving. If harvested properly, you can be enjoying lettuce for months to come.
Once your plants are ready for harvest, usually Week 3 and onwards, it’s simply a matter of removing leaves from the plants as required. To do this, snip leaves using a pair of scissors or garden shears, simply cut the leaf as close to its base as possible.
To ensure you continue to enjoy delicious home-grown lettuce for weeks to come, follow these guidelines:
- Spread your harvest out among all your plants.
- Never remove more than a third of the leaves from any one pod at a time, this ensures that the plant will continue to grow and produce more lettuce yields.
- Continue to remove the brown and dead leaves from around the base of the plants.
Growing and Harvesting Lettuce Tips and Tricks
In this section I will cover a few tips and tricks for the leafy greens. Lettuce isn’t a difficult plant to grow and will prosper in most circumstances. However, to get the best results possible, try applying the following tips to your indoor crop.
- Temperature – Lettuce prefers a cooler temperature, ideally you want the temperature of your growing environment to be between 68° to 75° F.
- Nutrients – Always make sure the nutrient levels are kept to AeroGarden’s recommended levels.
- Trim and Remove Brown Leaves – Once you trimmed these from the plant make sure they are removed from the growing surface.
- Harvest carefully – Remove the outer leaves as your lettuce grows, this ensures the plant will continue to produce a healthy harvest for weeks, always trim the leaf as close to the base of them as possible.
- Optimize the Lighting – Lettuce aren’t too fussy when it comes to lighting, they will generally grow under most lighting conditions. However, to get the absolute optimum harvest always keep your lights at the perfect height. Aerogarden recommends having your lights positioned between 1 and 2 inches from the top of the tallest plant.
- Space Your Grow – Space your lettuce plants out evenly in the available slots.
Here are before and after images for trimming lettuce. Lettuce grows quickly, so you’ll want to be careful what you grow next to them. The slower growing plants may not have access to the plants
AeroGarden Lettuce Final Thoughts
Lettuce might just be the perfect plant for small indoor gardens and delicious salad greens. With quick and continual yields, these plants flourish under the AeroGarden lights.
They are also a low-maintenance and forgiving plant that even the least green-thumbed amongst us will be able to master growing, just by following a few simple steps.
For more options, check out the below articles to grow herbs with lettuce, tomato, and more.