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Old 03-13-2007, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
489 posts, read 1,831,054 times
Reputation: 368

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I bought a small pot of "mixed baby lettuce" from a garden house, and with plenty of water, it is really taking off - even after I have taken some cuttings from it for salads. My question is this: It really needs to be re-potted, and I am wondering if anyone out there can recommend proper soil for growing vegetables and any other helpful tips because I've tried this before with herbs, and I totally killed them after the transplant and really do not want to lose this wonderful addition to my balcony garden. Should I put it in a rectangular (long) pot or very large circular pot, or does it not matter? People are absolute morons - or teenagers - at the stores here and have no advice. Any tips or input from anyone growing any food would be appreciated. I know that I can check the internet and will also; however, I'd like to hear from some voices of experience. Thanks very much!
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Old 03-13-2007, 06:52 PM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,540 posts, read 19,422,907 times
Reputation: 11442
In Ft. Myers you should grow lettuce in the winter. It hates hot weather and will rapidly go to seed. Put it in a pot that is twice as large, or more, than the pot it is in. Buy expensive potting soil, not the cheap stuff..

When you see your plant suddenly start getting taller, it's done. You can cut it off, but it won't help much.

For next year, you should buy a fairly large pot, plastic or clay, whatever suits your style. Buy expensive potting soil again; you want something that will hold moisture. There are plenty of brands, get the second most expensive bag.

Buy lettuce seeds. I like the colorful salad mixes. You get whatever flavor you like, black seeded simpson is good for a beginner. Get a small paper bag with about 2 tbsp. dry sand. Dump the seeds in. Shake. Sprinkle sand and seeds on top of the potting soil which by now should be in the large pot you were supposed to buy.
Sprinkle a small amount of additional potting soil on top of all of that, less than 1/8 inch - not more. It doesn't have to cover completely. Pat everything down firmly with your hand. Water regularly when dry. Fertilize with liquid fert or manure tea depending on your preference. Begin harvesting individual lettuce leaves when they are about 3-4 inches tall.
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Old 03-13-2007, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 27,477,785 times
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I grew lettuce outdoors in North Port for years. It grew just as well in the sand that was my backyard as it did in the pots. We used 5 gallon buckets (not pretty, but we had a bunch of them).
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Old 03-14-2007, 03:37 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,175,621 times
Reputation: 13181
I grew lettuce in long window boxes in springtime in Colorado, doing pretty much what Ellie describes, and am hoping to grow it here in winter--maybe spring too.
Am hoping to get an arugula patch going some place; it tends to reseed.
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Old 03-14-2007, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay
489 posts, read 1,831,054 times
Reputation: 368
Thank you all for the helpful information. I'm going to print the thread out so that I can follow it all to the letter. I am thrilled to hear that this can work because this plant is really taking off. Thanks again!
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Old 03-15-2007, 02:31 PM
 
346 posts, read 1,614,571 times
Reputation: 157
http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1092/
http://www.aces.edu/dept/com_veg/sug_h_var.pdf (broken link)

You may find these sites interesting. I use plain composted manure (WalMart). The flavor is exquisite for the frist day or so:>) In Birmingham my harvest goes from October to early April. Then I suppliment store bought greens with nasturcium leaves/flowers, beet leaves and pea leaves/flowers.
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Old 03-17-2007, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Naptowne, Alaska
15,596 posts, read 34,570,857 times
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I grow a variety every year. Leaf lettuce does real well in south central Alaska.
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Old 03-18-2007, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,040 posts, read 10,223,468 times
Reputation: 1915
Quote:
Originally Posted by FedUpInFtMyers View Post
I bought a small pot of "mixed baby lettuce" from a garden house, and with plenty of water, it is really taking off - even after I have taken some cuttings from it for salads. My question is this: It really needs to be re-potted, and I am wondering if anyone out there can recommend proper soil for growing vegetables and any other helpful tips because I've tried this before with herbs, and I totally killed them after the transplant and really do not want to lose this wonderful addition to my balcony garden. Should I put it in a rectangular (long) pot or very large circular pot, or does it not matter? People are absolute morons - or teenagers - at the stores here and have no advice. Any tips or input from anyone growing any food would be appreciated. I know that I can check the internet and will also; however, I'd like to hear from some voices of experience. Thanks very much!
I grow mine in a self watering container, using potting mix for soil. It has worked well for me, so far (just one growing season). The container I have is called "The Garden Patch" and this is what the manufacturer recommended for soil. The nice thing about using containers is that I have very little trouble with pests. Of the many things I grew last year, the lettuce was one of the most successful.

I have just started growing my seeds for this year's crop. I start them inside in the little peat containers that I can later plant in the containers or in my garden.
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