If you grow only one vegetable, it should be lettuce! Lettuce is easy to grow, doesn’t require a lot of space and matures quickly.
I like to grow lettuce in containers on my deck just outside our patio door for quick and easy access and to discourage any small critters from getting to my lettuce before I can! I also like to grow a variety of leaf lettuces so as to provide for several different textures, colors and flavors. Lettuce can be grown from mid April thru November allowing for a nice long season of fresh salad greens.
My favorite types of lettuce to grow are Mesclun, Leaf and Wildfire Mix.
Mesclun is a mix of salad greens that are grown and eaten together. The greens are picked young, like a spring mix with a maturity of only 35 days. To harvest, when the greens are 4-6 inches in length simply cut a handful of leaves leaving about an inch of the plant so that the next production will begin. Most mesclun will produce three cuttings.
Harvest leaf lettuce from the outside of the plant, leaving the central bud to grow more leaves. Leaf lettuce is ready to eat at just about any size, and you can pick the baby leaves for tender salads. Wildfire lettuce is similar to leaf lettuce. It can be harvested at any size and should also be cut from the outside of the plant allowing the central bud to grow more leaves.
Growing lettuce from seed is easy, however I usually buy transplants from my local garden center and simply pot them in a container using a good outdoor potting soil. Be sure to water your lettuce daily and give it lots of sunshine and within a couple of weeks you’ll be enjoying a delicious homegrown salad!