Last Updated on October 29, 2022 by Cinthia
Growing romaine lettuce or any other lettuce in a container is a common practice for small space gardeners. This is usually done when gardeners do not have adequate space to grow this plant in a garden.
Growing this plant in a container gives the plant an early start and allows for easy monitoring. The plant may easily be taken outside for sunlight and brought indoors during light freezes.
This is a guide on the major considerations to note when growing romaine lettuce in a container as opposed to a garden. The peculiarities involved in growing this plant in a container are also discussed.
There are a few things you must note when growing this plant in a container such as weeding, soil nutrient, water, and sunlight exposure. All of these are covered here. Now let’s get into what growing romaine lettuce in a container entails.
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Generally speaking, growing romaine lettuce in a container requires the right type of pot and planting medium. The following must be noted about growing this plant in a container:
Container Size: Romaine lettuce ordinarily requires sufficient room for roots to grow. Therefore, it is best if you use containers or pots ranging from 6 to 12 inches in width and length. Such containers should where possible, have adequate drainage holes.
Best Soil: the plant requires a consistent supply of water, but does not do well when water clogs the soil. The clay soil is therefore the best soil to plant as it provides a permeable surface. This soil has the ability to easily evaporate excess water and as such, prevent soggy roots.
Fertilizer Application: before sowing the plant, add some fertilizers to the soil to boost the soil nutrient. This will in a large way affect the growth potentials of the plant.
Planting: this may be done directly on the soil prepared, or there may be a transplant.
Tips On How To Grow Romaine Lettuce In A container
The following should be observed by you when planting romaine lettuce:
· Container Settings
Carefully set a 2-inch diameter seedling pot in a tray, to catch draining moisture. Alternatively, you may decide to set a 6 to10 inch diameter container on a drip tray if you intend to grow the plant to maturity.
Ensure to fill the containers with a soilless potting mixture. You do not really need to add fertilizer to seedling pots if you are going to be sowing transplants. Where you intend to grow to maturity, mix ½ tablespoon of 10-10-10 fertilizer into the soil of a 6-to-10-inch container.
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Continuously water the soil to the point where the excess moisture begins to drip from the bottom of the pots. Allow this draining process to go on for about 30 minutes, thereafter empty the water from trays.
· Seed Sowing
Sow your romaine seeds about ¼ inch deep into the prepared soil. For a 6-to-10-inch container, plant two seeds per container.
For larger containers, plant three seeds per pot. Since every seed will not likely germinate, you may decide to over sow and then remove the excess after germination.
· Maintain A Mist Soil
The soil surface should be mist with water from a spray bottle. You may decide to cover the top of the container with a plastic bag so as to retain moisture, humidity, and warmth during the germination period.
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· Supply With Warm Environment
Set the container in a relatively warm spot between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit to aid germination.
Germination usually takes romaine lettuce less than seven days from sowing. When you notice that the soil has begun to dry again, remove the plastic bag and mist the soil again.
When you notice that the plant has started to germinate, remove the plastic bag covering the container. Also, provide the romaine with full sunlight all day long and sufficient water.
When the plant begins to produce leaves, thin each pot to the strongest seedling. This is to ensure that you get the best possible result.
From germination, baby romaine lettuce usually takes about 55-65 days to grow. Romaine lettuce however takes between 65-80 days to grow.
When To Plant Romaine Lettuce
The best possible time to grow romaine lettuce is usually when the temperature is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Although some varieties of this plant have high heat tolerance, a majority of varieties hardly tolerate heat.
This means that when it gets too hot, the plant will not survive. For the best result to be attained, it is best to start growing romaine lettuce two weeks before the last frost date.
You can also begin to grow romaine lettuce in the fall as well. However, you must ensure that this is done about eight weeks before the first frost gets to your area.
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Why You Should Be Growing Romaine Lettuce
There are quite a lot of reasons why you should be growing romaine lettuce. One of the foremost reasons for doing so is that it is a great source of nutritious vegetables for the body. No doubt, vegetables are of utmost necessity for proper body growth.
Romaine lettuce is favored by other species for various reasons. One of them is that the plant usually grows as tall as 8 to 10 inches above the soil, unlike other species. This makes it cleaner and reduces the extent it picks dirt.
Also, the romaine lettuce is slower to bolt and turn bitter when heated than any other lettuce. So although romaine lettuce prefers the cooler temperature, it is still able to do well despite the heat.
Harvesting Romaine Lettuce Gown In Container
To harvest romaine lettuce grown in a container is relatively easy. All you need to do is to cut the outside leaves of loose lettuce when the leaves are still tender. After cutting, the leaves will very likely grow back.
It is always best to cut lettuce when the leaves are still tender. This is to ensure you get more yield as the plant grows very quickly and to avoid bolting.
How big a container do you need for romaine lettuce?
It's not just the amount of space, but the amount of water and nutrients that it needs to grow. I know that it needs about 1 gallon per bunch (3 bunches per 10 inches) and that it requires a lot of water, but I don't know what that is relative to the size of the container.
A 2 gallon bag will work well for lettuce. You could even get away with a 1 gallon bag, but it will be more difficult to keep the soil moist without some kind of sponges or something in there. Lettuce will also grow better in a larger container, so if you have room for a bigger one, go for it! If you are using a plastic container, the bag will not hold water. You need to add enough to the bag so that the soil gets wetted. If you use a plastic container, you will need to keep it in a tub, because it won't hold water.
We love to grow our own romaine lettuce, and we grow it in an 18-inch container. We just put the seeds into the bottom of the pot and water them up until they sprout. Then we transplant the seedlings into a larger pot, and we’re ready to go.
It depends on a few factors, including the amount of sunlight your plants will get.
How deep do containers need to be for lettuce?
Lettuce needs about 2-3" of soil to be healthy. If you're growing in a greenhouse, you can use whatever kind of containers you like.
How do you harvest potted romaine lettuce?
It's very simple. Remove the outer leaves from the head, trim the root end and cut the base of the head into quarters, then separate the leaves and cut them into small pieces. Rinse and dry thoroughly. The outer leaves are generally tougher than the inner ones, but they're also the most bitter. The leaves on the bottom are the least bitter and they're also quite small.
Can you start romaine lettuce indoors?
Yes, it is possible to grow romaine lettuce indoors. You can plant romaine lettuce seeds directly in soil or seed starting mix and expect some success. Romaine lettuce is a cool-weather crop that can be planted in the spring or fall. It does best when planted in soil temperatures of 65°F to 70°F (18°C to 21°C).
It will grow slowly but will produce well.
Conclusion on Growing Romaine Lettuce In A Container
Romaine lettuce as we have seen above is one of the species of lettuce that can do well in containers. They however require some special care when grown in containers and this has been discussed above.
When selecting the lettuce seed to plant, do well to choose the romaine lettuce as you are guaranteed a wonderful experience.