Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lettuce Grow a Salad

Right now is a great time to sow some lettuce seed, water it, and watch it grow. This is a great kid project with many teaching possibilities (spiritual, nutritional, learning responsibility, etc).

Lettuce can be grown in a vegetable plot, a flower bed or even a large flower pot. Just make sure your area receives around 6 hours of sunlight each day.

I planted mine in our vegetable garden. I used three types of lettuce: a romaine mix, a butterhead mix, and some mesclun. The first two are leaf-type lettuces and mesclun is a Spring Mix of several types of greens.

Prepare the soil by tilling with a spade or hand shovel. Then rake it smooth. Sprinkle your seed on the soil, not to heavily.

Use your rake to lightly cover the seed with soil. A good general rule is to plant your seed twice the depth of the seed, so for lettuce, that’s not very deep!

Next, I like to pat the soil with my hand, just to ensure that the seed won’t blow away and is covered with fine soil.

Now, using a sprayer on your hose, lightly spray the newly planted area with a mist of water until the soil is well-watered, being careful not to dislodge the seed.

Lettuce seed will sprout in about a week, depending on the weather. The most important thing is to keep the soil moist, watering as much as twice or more a day, until germination. Soon, you will see baby lettuce plants! (My seed packet even says, “guaranteed to grow”. And it is! I'll show you on Friday.

Let the lettuce grow to about 4 inches before harvesting for your salad. Pick leaves from the outside of the plant and allow the center to continue growing. You should be able to enjoy your lettuce until about the end of June, when our Oklahoma weather is too hot, and the lettuce will get bitter tasting and go to seed.

There’s something very spiritual about digging in the dirt, watching seeds grow into plants and harvesting! You’ll be hearing plenty more from me about gardening and life applications.

And let me know if you try it. Take pictures! Send them to me and I’ll post them here.

PS – another easy thing to grow for your salad is radishes. They grow so quickly, although many children don’t care for the flavor.


Kim Heinecke said...

oooohhhh, home science project you can EAT?! yeah, baby!
(And we can use the parable of the Sower, Matthew 13!)

Anna said...

Ha-ha! "Lettuce grow a salad" that's cute!

Ali Ruhman said...

Can't wait to eat it!

Nicole Knox said...

WHAT you can grow your own Lettuce??? Just kidding sounds like fun.

Roger Garrett said...

Too bad my dogs will eat anything, so a garden is out of the question

Robin Meadows said...

Kim - you are such a great home educator!!
Ali - I planted more yesterday--hope the rain didn't wash it away.
Nicole--you are funny!
Roger--try the front flower bed or a pot!

Natalie Witcher said...

Since we're going vegetarian this month, might be the right thing to try

deleise said...

Hope your little seedlings didn't get destroyed last night! I love this idea.

Christi said...

You truly are good at everything, Robin! I have so much to learn:)

Robin Meadows said...

Natalie- go for it. Not much to loose!
Deleise--I checked them this afternoon. Still in place! However, the seed I planted yesterday may come up in a different location! LOL
Christi--naw, not so good. Just not afraid to try! And besides, growing lettuce is EASY!

jimmy paravane said...

Teach em how to turn those "bitter" radishes into a radish rose they don't have to eat. There's a lesson in there somewhere, but it escaped me. (grin)

ID in Jesus Overflow! said...

I want to know more! If you plant tomatoes, post it! Love you