We grew our own organic baby lettuce garden in reusable Earthbound Farm clamshell salad containers. Check out our our garden's progress and compare it with yours.
We planted our lettuce seeds today — it's the new moon, a time when biodynamic farming principles say that the moon's gravity will help newly sown seeds anchor firmly into the soil.
We have sprouts! Between Sunday night and Monday morning (4 days from planting), our baby lettuces broke the soil with their first little leaves. Watch our tips about rotating the containers to the sun and keeping the water level just right.
About 2 weeks after planting, our seedlings are about 2 inches tall and doing well. These aren't true lettuce leaves, though: they're cotyledons , first-growth temporary leaves that give the seed energy to grow its true leaves.
At about 3 weeks, our seedlings are still about 2 inches tall, but they're beginning to show their true lettuce leaves. It's important to keep watering, rotating and providing organic nutrients to keep our little plants growing strong.
Our Clamshell Garden heirloom lettuce seedlings are almost 4 weeks old, and they're really starting to look like salad! In this week's progress report, we show what a difference soil nutrients can make.
The lettuce seedlings in our Clamshell Garden are nearly 5 weeks old. Now we can give them some time outdoors, where air movement will help the leaves grow a little thicker and more robust before harvest.
Our Clamshell Garden has been growing for almost 6 weeks, and we're almost — but not quite — ready to harvest those pretty baby greens. This week, we explain what it means when the tiny leaves near the soil line start turning yellow.
Our first harvest day! After nearly 7 weeks, we are ready to harvest our beautiful baby lettuces. See our advice for knowing when the lettuces are ready (for "maximum yield"), how to cut them, and how to grow a second crop from the same plants. A packet of organic lettuce seeds (about 300mg), growing in a 5-ounce clamshell container, yielded about 1.25 ounces of organic salad greens — a good-sized serving that was delicious dressed with just a little organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Today we harvest another clamshell lettuce crop that's been growing in a 1-pound clamshell container. We had some very warm weather in Carmel Valley, so the lettuce we harvested last week is coming back nicely; it could be ready for a second cutting in 7-14 more days.
Time for one more harvest: our "cut & come again"! Mother Nature gave us cool, cloudy weather after the previous harvest, so our second growth took longer than we expected — but our little clamshell garden is finally ready. We wrap up the project with tips for encouraging slow growers, and ideas for what else you could grow in a clamshell garden.