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Bright lights, big lettuce.

The Damsel heard you could grow lettuce indoors under florescent lights and decided then and there she wanted to try it, because the Cottage By The Mountains was buried in snow, and spring seemed oh so far away. She yearned for soil, seeds, and sprouts.

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Jan. 26: She fetched a plastic tray that bedding plants came in last year and filled it full of potting soil. After wetting the soil well, she made a little furrow with her finger. Then she sprinkled two kinds of lettuce seed in the furrows. She figured she was using way too much seed, but the seed looked so…well, like little broken pieces of stems/leaves/plant matter…not uniform at all. She couldn’t feel sure what was seed and what wasn’t. She decided she’d plant thick and then thin the plants later. Then she covered the furrows and patted it sweetly.

The husband found a spot beside a garage window and rigged a florescent light directly overhead.

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Ten days later she saw this and felt happy inside. Green growing things!

A lot more lettuce seed sprouted than the Damsel guessed. Obviously they would never grow well this close together, so when the plants got to be a few inches tall, she thinned them even though it broke her heart to pull out the little darlings.

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March 8. Yes, there are two types of lettuce: a red leaf variety and a green romaine.

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This photo shows the placement of the florescent lights…the closer, the better. We also rotate the tray so both sides get the benefit of the sun through the window, but people have successfully grown lettuce indoors where there are no windows at all. So there you go.

The Damsel has eaten a bit of this lettuce already–she snipped it off with a pair of sharp scissors instead of pulling it out because IT WILL GROW BACK. Is that not the best thing ever?

Next year the Damsel plans to have lettuce grown all through the winter, now that she knows how easy and delicious it is.

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  • Looks Awesome! Salads all year!

  • You are so CLEVER!!

  • Oh I want to try this. I would love to have different types of lettuce without having to buy a bigger expensive pack at the store. Thank you for the tips.

  • Andrea

    Wow! I’m sure my husband could rig up a florescent light like that…I’m gonna try this!

  • roxane

    Live in Texas and the hot weather creates havoc on my garden. I am ready to implement. and try
    this approach .Wish me luck.

    • thedamselindisdress

      Hope it goes well! Let me know…

      Margot (The Damsel)