How to Make a Lettuce Basket – Decorative and Delicious!
by Dawn Lesley Stewart
Every year I grow a large vegetable garden. The family loves lettuce, but I hate growing it in the garden. Inevitably, the garden lettuce becomes weed choked … and it’s a challenge separating the edible greens from the weeds.
So how did I solve the problem? Lettuce Baskets! They are affordable, easy to create, and provide lettuce throughout the warmer months.
Here is how to make a Lettuce Basket:
1. You will need a hanging basket with a diameter of 10” – 12”. I keep the plastic hanging baskets that store-bought flowers come in and use those. (The hanging baskets I use typically once contained geraniums, fuchsia, or lobelia.)
2. Place some potting soil in the basket so that it covers the bottom. I also try to push some of the soil along the sides of the basket. If you are using a heavier garden soil, mix it with some perlite so that the soil is a lighter mix. Another soil option is to use a soil mix that contains fertilizer.
3. Use dried long-fiber sphagnum moss to line the basket bottom and sides. As you pull the sphagnum moss from the package, separate it a bit to fluff and position it. Sphagnum moss has a great property: it holds up to 20 times its weight in water. Using it is a great way to make sure your plants maintain some moisture even during hot days.
4. After the sphagnum moss is arranged, add more potting soil to the basket. Don’t fill the soil to the top, though.
5. Sprinkle lettuce seeds across the top of the soil. You can use one type of leaf lettuce, or mix several lettuce varieties together. I enjoy a mix of red and green lettuce. Not only does it look attractive when growing, but it is a ready-made lettuce mix for picking.
6. Once the lettuce seed is resting atop the soil, sprinkle the seed with more soil so that it is loosely covered.
7. I use a water mister to spray the seeds until they germinate. You can lightly cover the top of the basket with clear plastic wrap until the seeds germinate. Remove the wrap as soon as you see signs that the seeds are growing (in about 3 days). Until the seeds sprout and grow a bit, I keep the hanging basket indoors where it is climate controlled. Once the plants are growing, I move the basket to a hanging hook (such as a shepherd’s hook) outside near the deck where I can easily reach the baskets to pick the lettuce.
8. When picking the lettuce, do not pull the plant root out. Lettuce will continue to grow if only the leaves are harvested. I usually pick the leaves, leaving an inch of the stem remaining on the plant. If properly watered, the basket should provide lettuce for several months. Ideally, lettuce grows best in cooler weather such as in the spring or autumn.
I wish you the best of luck with your lettuce baskets! Not only will they add a dash of color to the yard, but it’s an edible arrangement.
Happy Gardening !
Dawn Lesley Stewart has enjoyed organic gardening for over forty years, learning at a young age from her father. First love is vegetable gardening followed by her interest in butterfly and bee habitats. She considers her yard a sanctuary for birds and wildlife. Her writing has appeared online and in print and has won writing awards. Dawn is the author of Harriet’s Horrible Hair Day (picture book), Mist-Seer (paranormal novel), and her book 300-Plus Quilting Tips, Tricks & Techniques features over 35 years of quilting knowledge.
Copyright 2010 Dawn Lesley Stewart