Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Katy

Sick from salad... Grow it indoors?

Recommended Posts

Once again, the salad greens we've eaten in the last 8 weeks all got recalled.   AFTER most of us had loose stools on and off for days. Cyclospora this time.  We all seem to be recovered, though the CDC website says it can recur for weeks without re-exposure.   I'm sick of getting sick from salad, and I'm sick of only feeling safe eating COOKED greens like spinach.  I like salad. 

Do any of you have experience growing lettuce indoors?  I have a metal rack in the pantry I can attach grow lights to and grow it myself, but how?  My questions are:

  • Do I need to buy sterilized potting mix? 
  • DO I need special grow lights or can I use cheap LED shop lights from Costco?
  • Do I need to do something (or can I even do something) to sterilize seeds too or do I not need to worry about that?

 

I'd like romaine, spinach, kale, red leaf lettuce, and maybe some butter lettuce mixes.  I know there's a million videos on YouTube but I thought I'd ask you here first.  I trust all of you more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have not grown it indoors but I think IKEA had a hydroponic growing kit at one point. Do you wash your salad greens with a vegetable spray? I soak mine for 5 minutes in a diluted mix of salad wash and cold water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

I have not grown it indoors but I think IKEA had a hydroponic growing kit at one point. Do you wash your salad greens with a vegetable spray? I soak mine for 5 minutes in a diluted mix of salad wash and cold water.

 

Thanks I'll search for that!

I will wash them if I'm buying whole leaves, but I've been buying pre-washed ready to serve greens since the pandemic because they're already supposed to be washed in a bleach solution, and I just wipe the outside of the bags with a clorox wipe.  I guess the local stores (several local grocery chains, aldi, and walmart) have all of their prepared bagged salads of every variety contaminated.  At first it was just one type of salad, then I got a notice from my grocery store that every kind of salad I've bought in the past few months has been recalled.  I've been trying a wide variety because I miss romaine but that's too dangerous to eat any more.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you ever tried amaranth leaves as salad? There are varieties that are grown mostly as greens (rather than for the seeds which are used as a grain).

I planted some in the garden this year and have been really pleased with how fast it grows; I planted lots of seeds close together and have been thinning it by pulling out the bigger plants to eat. I only planted two weeks ago and have harvested three batches already.

Amaranth is a bit high in oxalates (like spinach) so if you have family members who need a low oxalates diet it might not work so well.

Edited by maize
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did do a small hydroponics set up this past winter, I got a kit from Amazon. It grew well and wasn't hard but also wasn't very efficient--I would need a much bigger set up to produce a decent amount for my family.

Edited by maize
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know there are at least a couple people on here who have AeroGarden-type set-ups, so hopefully they'll be chiming in.

I don't grow lettuce indoors, but I grow microgreens. They're super easy - no grow lights or soil required, and very high in nutrients. I have six trays of them growing at all times.

Sorry to hear about your family getting sick. We don't buy lettuce anymore, either - we make salads with kale and cabbage instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I am growing well attempting to grow salad because I was cooking it due to COVID fear and missing them. I am attempting to grow them in containers while eyeing an expensive table top salad growing kit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I need to investigate if there have been a recall of grapes. Grapes from both Costco and Publix made dh and I sick. Yuck!

Good luck on growing your own salad. I've always wanted to do that by my green thumb is closer to black when it comes to edibles. 🤦‍♀️

  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following along, we’ve been talking about doing the same!

We haven’t been doing salads due to Covid - I’ve been cooking everything.  And the greens we tried growing outside were a total fail.  So indoor growing it will be!

Hey, I’m recovering from a long, lingering bout of salmonella.  Not the same thing you all have had, but if it helps ... Visbiome worked wonders for me.  It’s pretty pricey, but I took 8 caps a day, and it really helped.  (I took Florastor and some other stuff, too, but you guys don’t sound *that* sick).  Anyway, you’ve probably got it under control but I wanted to throw the idea out there for you.  It used to be VSL #3, scrip only, but you can buy it direct now. 

Edited by Spryte

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, stephanier.1765 said:

Now I need to investigate if there have been a recall of grapes. Grapes from both Costco and Publix made dh and I sick. Yuck!

Good luck on growing your own salad. I've always wanted to do that by my green thumb is closer to black when it comes to edibles. 🤦‍♀️


Grapes.  Oh no!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Katy  You don't need special soil or anything.  But be aware that soil bags can harbor little gnats/eggs so you might want a layer of diatomacous (sp) earth on top of the soil.  Do you have a large window that gets significant sun?

ETA: and how many people are you planning on feeding with the lettuce and how many times per week?

Edited by WendyAndMilo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't like leaf lettuce all that much but I've got a few volunteer plants from a few years ago when I grew it.  Leaf lettuce is pretty easy to grow and I would think you could grow that indoors.  We have TONS of arugula growing.  I didn't plant any this year, but I had oodles reseed as well as some that apparently wintered over based on the massive roots they had.  I've been buying heads of ice berg lettuce and removing extra layers of the outside leaves.  I figured it would be a bit harder to contaminate the inside leaves (but that may just be wishful thinking out my part).  I've also been growing a bunch of sprouts.  Those are super easy to grow indoors.  So I mix the iceberg (which we like because of the crunch) with the arugula, leaf lettuce, and sprouts to up the nutritional value.  Last night I added some sprigs of basil and curly parsley.  The kids vetoed the parsley  for future salads but most like the basil added.  Spinach is pretty easy to grow to but it's getting too hot for that here. But the reality is that I can't grow enough to make the base for the number of salads we eat in a week so I'm just doing the best I can.  I think it might be better to buy the whole heads of things and wash them well rather then the prebag stuff (which I prefer too because you just can't beat the convenience but has mostly been unavailable to me since COVID started because stores never seem to have any prebagged anything available now)

Edited by cjzimmer1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We don't have a sunny window that we could use, most of our windows are on the east & west sides of the house.  I do have an area in the basement where I can have some shelves and some grow lights.

I do have diatomaceous earth, I can definitely add some of that to the top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it so frustrating that lettuce from the store is so dicey the past couple years.   WHY!?   Figure it out food people and FDA!

We grow lettuce outside and it's pretty easy but prefers partial sun and cooler conditions.    We also get a CSA in the summer.  I soak my lettuce twice before rinsing it out well and spinning. But I trust that CSA/local farmer's market lettuce much more than grocery store varieties.  When we do get grocery store varieties, I wash it anyway now.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Katy said:

We don't have a sunny window that we could use, most of our windows are on the east & west sides of the house.  I do have an area in the basement where I can have some shelves and some grow lights.

I do have diatomaceous earth, I can definitely add some of that to the top.

Ok, the Feit Electric grow lamps from home depot are good.  If you are the only one eating salad 2-3x week, I would have at least 4 plants (I like variety, so I would do different lettuce types).  And then you'd want to plant more every 3-4 weeks.  So it might take up some space....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

@Katy  You don't need special soil or anything.  But be aware that soil bags can harbor little gnats/eggs so you might want a layer of diatomacous (sp) earth on top of the soil.  Do you have a large window that gets significant sun?

ETA: and how many people are you planning on feeding with the lettuce and how many times per week?

 

4 people reliably eat salads in the house.  Sometimes younger kids want a bite or two, but that's rare.  I'd like to have one with lunch and supper, but idk if that's even possible.   Ideally I'd eat a huge salad twice a day like Dr Fuhrman, but most of the others want a cup or two maybe every other day, but will eat them more often if I prepare them.  They're impressed by easy things like marking the skin of the cucumber before cutting them to make them easier to chew, or including fruit like diced apples or berries.

DH has said he's willing to water & care for them as long as he's working from his basement office if I make salads.  We have a big 5-shelf stainless steel rack we could use and hang grow lights on.  I don't think I can find decent quality trays right now but I might be able to make them or use something food safe like buffet pans.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there’s anywhere outside you can put it - with sun but not too much sun or too much heat , you could grow it in bags that can go inside or out.

I don’t know about LED lights— last I grew anything substantial inside I wS using fluorescent tube lights — not something I especially like to use, but it was what was used at that time.

 

I use a high quality potting soil. 

I haven’t topped with diatomaceous earth.  Interesting idea!  — I don’t know if it would stay sharp and anti bug after it gets wet? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Katy said:

 

4 people reliably eat salads in the house.  Sometimes younger kids want a bite or two, but that's rare.  I'd like to have one with lunch and supper, but idk if that's even possible.   Ideally I'd eat a huge salad twice a day like Dr Fuhrman, but most of the others want a cup or two maybe every other day, but will eat them more often if I prepare them.  They're impressed by easy things like marking the skin of the cucumber before cutting them to make them easier to chew, or including fruit like diced apples or berries.

DH has said he's willing to water & care for them as long as he's working from his basement office if I make salads.  We have a big 5-shelf stainless steel rack we could use and hang grow lights on.  I don't think I can find decent quality trays right now but I might be able to make them or use something food safe like buffet pans.

Ok, so that's a lot of lettuce...

The steel racks will work ok, but be aware that the grow lights need to be at like 6-12" high when in the seedling stage.  When you have the actual lettuce plants, they need to be like 2-3' above the plants, so you might not be able to use all of the shelves.  Also, your pots should be at least 6" deep.

 

You can leave a small little opening around the actual plant for watering, but covering up the rest of the soil with d.e. is helpful.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t know what your budget is, but Gardeners Supply has self watering planters

drainage is generally important   

A grow bag in a buffet pan might work, but just a pan could be hard to get right for water and aeration

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Pen said:

I don’t know what your budget is, but Gardeners Supply has self watering planters

drainage is generally important   

A grow bag in a buffet pan might work, but just a pan could be hard to get right for water and aeration

Yeah, I was thinking pots with holes at the bottom and you get those plastic trays or other random trays to catch the drips would be better....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can harvest leaves instead of whole heads and keep some plants going longer

(or you could try for micro greens ?) 

 

2 heads per day will take quite a lot of room, and you have to keep the reseeding going for continued supply

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Look up growing lettuce via the Kratky Method. It is a hydroponic method. I am growing bell peppers Kratky style and will start lettuce this week. 

 

Look up videos by Tikki O on YouTube. She is a lady that grows a lot of things via Kratky. Her explanations are easy to follow and will get you growing in no time.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are my pepper plants, grown via Kratky. They are 7 weeks old and just started putting out flowers. I am a complete beginner at this.  If I can do it, anyone can. 

15936346837691136918804.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Pen said:

You can harvest leaves instead of whole heads and keep some plants going longer

(or you could try for micro greens ?) 

 

2 heads per day will take quite a lot of room, and you have to keep the reseeding going for continued supply

I only ever harvest leaves but I have to have like a minimum of 10 full size leaves for a decent sized salad.  And that's usually like half the plant.  I had 30 plants going just for 3 adults 2-3x times a week.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn’t have much luck with inside growing. I have three huge barrels of lettuce outside to keep my family in lettuce. I rotate barrels every two weeks—polishing off one and re-seeding. I grow loose leaf lettuce, not heads, so I can get quicker crops.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, WendyAndMilo said:

Ok, so that's a lot of lettuce...

The steel racks will work ok, but be aware that the grow lights need to be at like 6-12" high when in the seedling stage.  When you have the actual lettuce plants, they need to be like 2-3' above the plants, so you might not be able to use all of the shelves.  Also, your pots should be at least 6" deep.

 

You can leave a small little opening around the actual plant for watering, but covering up the rest of the soil with d.e. is helpful.

One possibility would be to use lower shelves for young plants then move them to the top shelf with lights higher above them as they get bigger.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I didn’t have much luck with inside growing. I have three huge barrels of lettuce outside to keep my family in lettuce. I rotate barrels every two weeks—polishing off one and re-seeding. I grow loose leaf lettuce, not heads, so I can get quicker crops.

Are you able to grow through the summer?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am growing Red Russian Kale, Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, Paris Island Cos, Brown Freckles lettuces using the kratky method for the first time because of COVID and not wanting to rush out to buy salad every so often. These are heat tolerant and have not bolted even when the temp goes to 90+ in my area. I have a sunny window and keep them there. 

@Katy, if you have a patio or shady tree, you can grow lettuce there in the shade. Search for varieties that thrive in the heat (there are lists on the internet) and order the seeds. Grow them outdoors using the method called "cut and come again" - where you cut off baby greens and the plants produce for longer times.

Edited by mathnerd
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an aero garden  and I have grown lettuce in it several times.  The problem is that it is not ever enough for me.  I eat so much salad that I really need a huge garden of lettuce to grown enough for my daily salad needs.  The lettuce grown on my counter amounts to about 2-3 salads worth.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t read all the replies but with mary jane now legal in many states, I saw lots of “home gardening” options on amazon last time I looked there!😆

Seriously, whole kits so you can have a grow room in whatever space in your house you choose. 

Edited by Seasider too
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree it is hard to grow with that much volume with limited space.  We are going to be relatively rich in lettuce between the garden and the CSA for about a month.  And  the maybe we'll get another month at the end of the season.  And even so we aren't eating multiple salads a day.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Katy said:

 

Thanks I'll search for that!

I will wash them if I'm buying whole leaves, but I've been buying pre-washed ready to serve greens since the pandemic because they're already supposed to be washed in a bleach solution, and I just wipe the outside of the bags with a clorox wipe.  I guess the local stores (several local grocery chains, aldi, and walmart) have all of their prepared bagged salads of every variety contaminated.  At first it was just one type of salad, then I got a notice from my grocery store that every kind of salad I've bought in the past few months has been recalled.  I've been trying a wide variety because I miss romaine but that's too dangerous to eat any more.

I never trust prewashed.  One lady here found a live frog in a bag of supposedly prewashed greens.  I have found kikuyu and various other weeds that didn’t belong and bugs in mine.  

  • Like 2
  • Confused 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Ausmumof3 said:

I never trust prewashed.  One lady here found a live frog in a bag of supposedly prewashed greens.  I have found kikuyu and various other weeds that didn’t belong and bugs in mine.  

A live frog! Wow! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, maize said:

Are you able to grow through the summer?

I am, but I'm not in TX anymore. 🙂 I switch from a version that likes cool weather to one that can handle a bit of heat, but it can keep going.  I keep it mostly in the shade, keep it well watered, and pick it pretty frequently. It's prone to bolting when the leaves get bigger. Try Black Seeded Simpson or Green Salad Bowl.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Bronze Beauty, Merlot and Red Wing Blend have been INCREDIBLY slow bolters....as in 4 months later, the plants are still normal sized and producing lovely leaves.  Our weather has been between 30 degrees and 90.  All my other varieties have bolted already.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grow a large amount in grow bags and planters outside.  It feeds us and the animals. Is there a slightly shaded area in your yard that you could grow it in? That would be able to give you a chance at growing a good amount.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, itsheresomewhere said:

I grow a large amount in grow bags and planters outside.  It feeds us and the animals. Is there a slightly shaded area in your yard that you could grow it in? That would be able to give you a chance at growing a good amount.  

 

No, I'm limited to the existing garden beds by the HOA, and they have to be "attractive" meaning not edible, and no messy native plants. These are people who complained that we left the teak patio set out over the winter instead of renting a storage shed for them (we're not allowed a shed in our yard).  Sigh. 

Even if I did dare to plant food in the flower beds, last month I finally left the house to go to the closest nursery, picked out a bunch of flowering perennials, and they're doing great.  My 3 new hydrangea bushes have already doubled in size and are blooming, and the other things I don't remember the names of have grown and are flowering too.

I'm good with rotating multiple plantings and I don't really have a budget (though I don't want to waste money either).  I'm thinking I will use self watering planters and plant every day or two.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly recommend Gary Pilarchik's Youtube channel, The Rusted Garden. He goes over sterilizing soil and lots of other things you've mentioned here. I use his grow light setup and it has not failed me yet. I tried growing salad greens indoors and it did work but I'm terrible at remembering to water indoor plants lol. So yes it worked and worked well but you have to remember to water the plants if you want them to grow to their full potential. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Climate with a mild winter here and I grow lettuce outside 3 seasons. Lull mid summer, for just a  few weeks. I use tunnels early spring and late fall to keep frost off and heat in. 

Good soil, no chemical fertilizers or spraying of any kind. Just sunshine and water. I have had a backyard or patio garden for 35 years and have never gotten sick from eating my veggies and herbs.

 

 

Edited by ScoutTN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you HAVE flower beds that you rotate through, I’d google “foodscaping” If you can have a hydrangea a blueberry is attractive and can thrive in the same place. Think of lettuces as something you can tuck in at the feet of flowering perennials. They like some shade so you could even hide them among other plants or or as filler in pots of begonias. There are lots of lettuces, kales, cabbages and chards that are pretty.  I’d start them indoors then place them outside in an intentional way so it compliments the other greenery. If you plant them in clumps and drifts you’ll be able to sneak them by. 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

I highly recommend Gary Pilarchik's Youtube channel, The Rusted Garden. He goes over sterilizing soil and lots of other things you've mentioned here. I use his grow light setup and it has not failed me yet. I tried growing salad greens indoors and it did work but I'm terrible at remembering to water indoor plants lol. So yes it worked and worked well but you have to remember to water the plants if you want them to grow to their full potential. 

I didn't know he had a youtube channel until recently.  I've followed him on IG for forever and always have a bit of envy when I see his pics 😉

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

Since you HAVE flower beds that you rotate through, I’d google “foodscaping” If you can have a hydrangea a blueberry is attractive and can thrive in the same place. Think of lettuces as something you can tuck in at the feet of flowering perennials. They like some shade so you could even hide them among other plants or or as filler in pots of begonias. There are lots of lettuces, kales, cabbages and chards that are pretty.  I’d start them indoors then place them outside in an intentional way so it compliments the other greenery. If you plant them in clumps and drifts you’ll be able to sneak them by. 

 

 

Yes.  I have seen stunning vegetables arrangements — especially using lettuces etc with colored leaves.  

Maybe some medicinal flowers too like lobelia could help hide some pretty food plants.  

Amazing era when people have to hide lettuce growing.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lettuce is a great addition to spring containers.

Lettuce is a great addition to spring containers.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...