Growing your own houseplants in your backyard is indeed a beautiful feeling for a gardener. However, as and when time passes one’s curiosity about how plants work and what can be some of the most innovative ways to grow plants also increases. Growing lettuce is an interesting activity in this reference.
If you are also looking for a way of growing lettuce from scraps, we have the solution for you.
In order to grow your lettuce from its scrap, all you need is to place the lettuce stem in a dish of water, place that small bowl under natural or artificial grow lights, change the water after every 2 days, and that’s it. Soon, you’ll begin to see new developments from your lettuce plant scraps.
However, it might not be as easy as it looks. There is a lot more to growing lettuce than just submerging it in a shallow dish of water. To know how you can grow the best lettuce yield out of the scraps that you have, keep reading!
Growing Lettuce from Scraps
Growing lettuce successfully doesn’t require you to put in hard work. Instead, it all narrows down to smart work. The ingredients and materials you choose, the knowledge you have and the impetus around you matters more than the time or energy you are willing to devote. After all, we are trying to take the regular kitchen garbage and convert it into something completely new!
A quick heads up to all the fun kitchen candidates is that you cannot grow a complete lettuce head with just the availability of scraps. If you succeed in regrowing lettuce from scraps, you’d only be able to see a few inches long fresh lettuce leaves and that’s it.
Unlike celery or green onions, you cannot expect to grow a full fledged lettuce just from scrap. But, this would be enough for salads and dressings.
A thing worth remembering is that re-growing lettuce from scraps might not always work. There can be a number of factors behind this. But, don’t let one unhappy experience stall your excitement.
Sometimes, the results can vary and it is okay, because at the end of the day you’ll have some fresh lettuce leaves grown all by yourself!
Also Read: How-to: Growing Sweet Potatoes from Scraps?
What Do You Need to Regrow Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce from Scraps?
Here are a few things that you should keep ready before setting up this fun kitchen experiment of growing lettuce from scraps. Remember, the first step to smart work reflects in the materials or ingredients you choose, so be wise!
- To successfully complete this experiment, you’ll need:
- Purchased lettuce of any size
- A shallow water dish to hold about ½ inch of water
- Grow lights (skip this if you have easy availability to a window sill with plenty of natural sunlight)
- Some fresh water
- Step-by-step Procedure to Grow Lettuce from Scraps
We know it can be a little hard to follow through the entire procedure in just a few lines. Therefore, we have brought to you this easy step by step procedure that elaborates each and every step of how to grow lettuce from scraps.
Step 1: Eat your lettuce
As obvious as it sounds, eating the lettuce that you purchased is definitely the first step if you want to grow it from scrap. Then, mark about one inch above the bottom and cut the leaves from that mark.
Whatever stem remains after cutting the leaves, place that in a shallow dish and fill about ½ inch of it with fresh water (the temperature of water, hot or cold, doesn’t make any difference, so go ahead and use whatever you want).
Also Read: How to: Growing Chives from Cuttings?
If you have a window sill that gets plenty of natural light throughout the day, you can go ahead and place this bowl comfortably near the sill. However, if you do not have this provision, then you would have to arrange some grow light near your window, thereby placing the bowl underneath.
Change the water of the dish after each day or every 2 days. Do not keep the bowl unattended for more than 3 days or your yield can go bad.
After watering your plants for a good 9 to 12 days, you’ll see new shoots developing rapidly. As mentioned earlier, the growth of a full head might not be possible.
Your lettuce will attain maximum quantity and quality in the first fourteen days. Make sure to not store your plant in the bowl anymore as it can lead to bitter taste, and in some cases, a completely damaged plant.
If you witness a stalk growing up or the leaves turning blue, it would be best not to consume it any further.
- To keep your regrown lettuce plants in the best of their health, here are some additional tips other than the steps to help you through the journey:
- There is no soil mixture required to regrow lettuce from scraps, so you have nothing to worry about when it comes to the perfect potting mixture.
- It is very important to change the water of the dish in which you are rowing your lettuce frequently. Not changing the water after every two days can disrupt the growth of your plant.
- The plant should fully grow in about 12 to 14 days. Throughout this course you are required to keep your plants under constant sunlight. If natural light is not available for your plant, then you can resort to installation of grow lights which will do the work.
Harvesting your regrown lettuce from scrap is an easy thing. You just have to mark the size of leaves that you require for your salad or sandwich, and cut the leaves from the bottom with a nice scissor.
That’s it! You can wash the leaves before consuming them if you wish to, or you can have it as it is, either way is fine.
Also Read: Growing Leeks from Scraps
How to Regrow Romaine Lettuce in Water?
Although we have only talked about regrowing lettuce in water from scraps, there is essentially another method that you can apply if you want to regrow lettuce from scraps in water.
Cut off the bottom 1 inch part of lettuce after you have eaten it. Place it in a bowl of water and observe the central part of your plant. In as little as three days, you’ll see the half head of your plant beginning to grow.
Experts say that romaine lettuce grows the best in water. However, if you want to regrow other varieties of your lettuce plant, you can try this trick with green leaf and red leaf lettuce.
Also Read: How Often to Water Lettuce?
When to Plant Lettuce?
If you want to plant lettuce and grow the same, might as well do it under conditions that it will reap the maximum benefits in. Unlike most of the plants, lettuce are a fan of cold months and winters and will outgrow their best self each season.
If you want to start planting lettuce in winters, start preparing the soil at the onset of the spring season.
Try adding some porous materials like grain, clay, and chalk to ensure maximum drainage when it is growing. This also ensures that the root system of your plant doesn’t rot and stays fresh throughout.
Some people believe that if they are growing their plants in organic matter, then they do not need to fertilize it. However, this is not the case. The kind of soil that you use does not determine whether or not you should fertilize it.
Go for a nitrogen rich fertilizer to give a great life to your lettuce plant. It is a very essential macronutrient for the growth of your plant, irrespective of the season, soil mixture, and watering needs of your plant.
If you want to opt for an organic fertilizer, fish emulsion would be the ideal choice. Apply it at half of the dosage that is recommended and see the results in less than two weeks.
Also Read: Fertilizing Cucumber Plants
Pests & Diseases
Although lettuce doesn’t invite a lot of pests and diseases its way, the ones that do are extremely harmful for its growth. Slugs, for example, are set to be one of its biggest enemies as they directly attack the root system of your plant, making them weak.
Installing a strong metal fence around your backyard or your lettuce plant is the best protection against all the pests and diseases troubling your yield.
Lettuce Varieties that You Can Grow from Scraps
We have discussed so much about regrowing lettuce from scraps under different circumstances. However, the variety of lettuce that it works best with still leaves to be explored. Rumour has it that romaine hearts are the best lettuce variety that can be regrown from scraps.
However, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce, boston lettuce, bibb lettuce, and kale are other popular varieties of lettuce that can be regrown from scraps successfully.
Important Tips While Growing Lettuce from Kitchen Scraps
Here are some of the most significant and quick tips that will help you grow lettuce from kitchen scraps efficiently:
Lettuce is nothing but 95% water, therefore becomes very important to meet its moisture requirements. If your lettuce is growing in the summer, you need to water the top inch of its soil at least 5 times a week. This requirement reduces to 3 times a week in the winter season.
Mulching is probably the most underrated gardening activity that is to be followed. Collect some organic mulch and layer your lettuce plant with two to three layers of organic mulch in a way that a little space is left around your plant. This prevents the possibility of root rot effectively.
By mulching, you give a way to your plant to retain maximum moisture, while keeping the weeds at bay and keeping the lettuce clean.
Make sure that the temperature of the soil in which you are thinking of planting lettuce is below 80 degrees. This is an important requirement for germination of the plant. Now, plant your lettuce raw materials either according to a pattern or randomly by leaving sufficient space between them.
If you reap any good results from this method, continue sowing the seeds throughout the season to achieve benefits.
From the aforementioned article, you now know how you can grow the perfect lettuce plant just from your leftover lettuce scraps in a few easy steps. Also, now you can make use of pro tips when fertilizing your lettuce plant, regrowing it, saving it from unaccounted pests and diseases, and when growing for general purposes.
Follow these tips as mentioned, without any modifications, to see the best results. Remember, the variety of your lettuce plant hardly matters when you are taking general care of it. Happy gardening!