Growing lettuce indoors

keepitlow(6)March 13, 2009

Anyone grow lettuce inside? What varieties do you grow? How does it come out compared to growing outdoors?

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wordwiz

I'm growing some in an office window but in a hydro (DWC) system. Fantastic taste and fast growth. This fall/next winter I'll have a double wide window set aside just for lettuce, tomato and green beans.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 4:48PM
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garysgarden

In many places it's far easier to grow lettuce indoors. Where I live it gets too hot or too cold most of the time for lettuce to do well, and when the temperatures are good the bugs eat most of anything I try to grow outdoors.

Inside you can keep the plants happy and healthy without pesticides. There isn't really a downside.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 6:09PM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

I've been growing many varieties of loose leaf lettuce under florescent lights with great results. A fresh, home grown salad in the dead of winter really helps cure the winter blues.

Regard,

Rokal

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:23AM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Rokal, what lights are you using? I was wondering if my cool FL would be good for this after the tomatos are all outside.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 9:53AM
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rokal(LongIsland/z6b)

rj_hythloday,

I use T-8 fixtures with cool white bulbs. Cool whites are perfect for lettuce since we are interested in vegetative growth.

Rokal

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 10:38AM
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amprice(5)

I just enjoyed my first "salad" from lettuce grown inside. I bought plastic rubbermaid shoe boxes with lids. I punched holes in the bottom and set them on the lid to use as a bottom water tray added a good potting soil, spread some seed of buttercrunch lettuce and ta da! well ok it took a little longer than that but not much. For lights I just had the WalMart grow lights at $10 each. I only did it to see if I could and it was well worth the effort tonight.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2009 at 11:57PM
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rj_hythloday(8A VA)

Great news! Thanks for the replies. I'm already thinking of things to save for growing. I washed a large cool whip container today, I'm thinking it's a good size for one head.

Amprice how many do you grow in the shoe box size?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:49AM
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garysgarden

Walmart Grow lights? What are those?

I wouldn't buy a light at Walmart that was listed as a "grow light" or "plant light" - they're at best an overpriced CFL and at worst a useless bulb. Just get the biggest CFLs you can find an you'll do fine growing lettuce.

Also, I don't recommend "head" lettuce. Get the leafy types like Simpsons, Grand Rapids, and Romaines. That way you can harvest leaves from the bottom as it grows and have fresh salads for weeks rather than waiting weeks to get one head of lettuce. Plus, the nutritional value is higher and the head types aren't as easy to grow.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 12:06AM
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derek-grow

i've had a lettuce bed inside under a 400 wat mh light all winter. man that is the way to go!! i would just clip leaves off of them and let the roots keep going. in under a week you'd never know i had cut anything off of them. i made alot of b.l.t.'s out of tomato's and lettuce from my indoor garden this year.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2009 at 1:56PM
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garysgarden

Right on, I've eaten a ton of salads this year from tomatoes and lettuce. I still buy croutons and carrots and such to round out the salad, but the main staples are all home-grown year-round.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:39PM
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fixitguy_astound_net

I am growing herbs and lettuce hydro/aeroponically in a setup I reverse-engineered from a widely-marketed countertop model. I have tried two varieties of butterhead lettuce (Buttercrunch & Tom Thumb). They grow abundantly, but neither is nearly crisp enough, even when fresh-plucked. Also, rather than growing as heads, the leaves sprout from stems which seek the lights (a few inches above) and then become long and wander as I raise the CFL's to avoid scorching them. Numerous stems emerge from the approx. 12 seeds I implant in each growpod (which measures 1" deep x 1-1/2" diam).

I'm wondering whether: a) I am overwatering (1 min spray on, 4 mins off); or, b) the growpods are too small to support even a single head, much less multiple heads from too many seeds per pod?

Can anyone recommend a different variety (head or leaf) which will produce a crispy leaf rather than the limp leaves I'm getting? Or is my problem not the variety of lettuce but my growing technique?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:56AM
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wordwiz

I used Black Simpson or Simpson Elite (can't recall exactly).

Mike

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:50PM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Is mid-50's too cold for growing lettuce under fluorescent lights during the winter months?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 2:05PM
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wordwiz

No, but it would do better with a bit warmer temps.

Mike

    Bookmark   April 8, 2010 at 4:13PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

I grew lettuce quite well under standard (T-12) fluorescent tubes in individual 4" or 5" clay pots. With a dozen plants, you can pick a salad every week or so.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:37AM
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horseflysgarden

I posted my little seedlings maybe a week ago... I'm not sure, but I thought I would update some of the pics here...

The first is my Black Simpson. Multiple true leaves. I have these under 24/7 light.

The first 3 pics are of Black Simpson.

The last 3 are of my Mesclun Mix... 2nd image shows really cool looking true leaves and they are littered throughout the plot. Shouldn't be long now. The other 2 pics just show general growth.

Thanks and enjoy!!!

~ HFG

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:38PM
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indoorgardener69

I converted a plastic storage box to a grow box. It has a light fixture on the lid, a couple of fans for ventilation and lined with foil. I use a couple of cfl's for light. It works great. I am growing a variety of Bibb lettuce called Butterhead in it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 1:35AM
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anna_in_quebec(z4 QC)

Indoorgardener69 - it would be great if you could post some pictures of your setup!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 11:24AM
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merrybookwyrm

Is 70F to 75F too hot for growing lettuce? We have people with temperature issues, and it never gets cooler than this in the house. Some instructions for growing lettuce inside I read state the temps need to stay cooler than 70F. Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2011 at 8:33PM
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davehydro

Can anyone help me clearify,...i germinated some ruby red lettuce seeds, they went find until they got up to a certain height, at that point the middle of its stem seemed to sqeeze together thus making the stem weak enough for it to fall over and die...im at a loss for what i am doing wrong..I germinated in rockwool and am trying to get them ready for hydroponics...thank you...Dave

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 12:43AM
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davehydro

As far as i can tell at this time my lettuce crop filure is do to added PH.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 4:57PM
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eahamel(9a)

Dave, could be a fungal infection, too. Look up "damp off".

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 9:56PM
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