Growing lettuce in containers is an easy way to raise your own salad greens and save some money at the grocery store.
Sow lettuce seeds or seedlings in shallow pots or bowls. Site the pots where they'll receive up to a half-day full sun. Morning sun is ideal. Plant lettuce seeds at a spacing that's tighter than suggested on the seed packet. Add thinnings to the salad bowl. Fertilize plants lightly after harvest to encourage stubs to sprout.
Create a custom salad blend by planting a variety of lettuces -- leaf, romaine, butterhead, etc. Sow a variety of leaf lettuce seeds, including colorful red leaves, for pretty salads.
Extend the harvest using a cut-and-come-again method. As plants mature, use a small pair of scissors to cut off every other plant, leaving a 1-inch stem stub. Fertilize them, then cut remaining plants when they are bigger, again leaving a stem stub to resprout. When you make this cutting, the first stubs will have sprouted and be re-growing. Continue to harvest until plants begin to bolt.
Wait until the final frost date has passed before putting seedlings of heat-loving veggies, like eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, or okra, into the garden.
Continued on page 5: May Lawn Care in the Midwest