Mother Earth News Helps You Grow Lettuce
Posted May 14, 2010
Keeping up with the whole springtime fresh and healthy food theme from the last post…here's an idea for you.
Home grown and easy!
Want to grow your own food, but not even have to bend down to the ground? Try growing your own salad makings. Lettuce is the easiest thing to grow in the world, it’s basically a tasty weed and when the conditions are right, it grows like one too.
To be honest, as an gardening hobbyist I’ve turned my nose up at growing lettuce for a few years now because I always thought it didn’t grow well in the Southern heat. Turns out this is only partially true. My mind was pretty much made up until I read an article in the April/May 2010 issue of Mother Earth News magazine. This month's Mother Earth News helps you grow lettuce. Check out Grow Great Lettuce starting on page 54 (or read it here online). Even if you don’t decide to grow anything, the article is still an excellent and informative read.
I don't have any room for that
Now you might be saying, yeah but I don’t even have a yard to dig in, let alone grow anything! Not to worry, there is an easy way to grow lettuce without a shovel, just grab a hammer, some 2x4’s, screen, and some nails. Try building a lettuce box garden table. It couldn’t get any easier. And the bonus is, you don’t even have to bend over to tend to your little garden. You can find instructions for building your own lettuce box here.
It took me about 30 minutes to build one. You can check out my simple creation here on MyFolia.com. (VERY cool gardening site if you’re into that kind of thing). Anyway, so what I did was use the Mother Earth News article to choose the right lettuces that won't stuggle as much in the summer heat. And most importantly, I found the perfect spot to grow them where they get exactly 4-6 hours of sun during the summertime months.
Is there anything else I should know?
Yep...the secret to growing incredible healthy organic lettuce…Coffee.
No really! Used coffee grounds are the perfect form of slow release organic fertilizer that all leafy vegetables crave (constantly). Lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and arugula are heavy feeders so they need nutrients pretty much every day. The extra fertilizer added to that store bought potting soil you will buy for your lettuce box will be used up in no time, so you’ll have to supplement.
What if you don’t drink coffee?
No problem, Starbucks gives their used coffee grounds away for just that purpose, and they’re FREE! The only caveat is they are first come, first served. One 15-20 pound bag that they usually throw out 2-3 times a day will last you a month.
IMPORTANT FINAL NOTE: Do NOT use treated wood (green deck wood) to build your garden table (lettuce box). There are toxic chemicals in that kind of wood that can be absorbed by the roots.