Did you know that growing lettuce in an AeroGarden at home is much higher in vitamin C than Lettuce bought from the supermarket or organic shops? Well, it is; growing Lettuce in your AeroGarden has almost 300% more vitamin C.
Aero gardening is also a great indoor activity for children. Growing Lettuce in an AeroGarden is a fantastic way to get your children involved and use the leaves to make their salad sandwiches. Children will see the seeds sprout and get their first leaves, then their real leaves, and grow to harvest—what an excellent activity for the whole family.
Your Lettuce will sprout, grow and be ready to harvest from three weeks onwards. After that, you will have a steady supply of leaves, full of nourishment, washed and ready for your plate or salad bowl.
Growing Lettuce in an AeroGarden sounds excellent, but where did Lettuce originate?
The origin of Lettuce
I have grown up loving Lettuce since I can remember; what I didn’t know was that Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is an annual of the daisy family Asteraceae nor did I know where it originated!
It all began in Egypt
As recorded about 2700 BC on the Egyptian walls, there are hieroglyphics of min, the God of fertility. It is a prevalent food among the Egyptians. Ancient Egyptians were the first to cultivate it from a weed. The Egyptians produced oil from the seeds gathered from Lettuce once it had flowered and produced seeds.
The Lettuce has a thick stem that grows erect with leaves and has milky sap and used as a
- Sacred food
- Having sexual connotations
- Increased stamina
- Used in cooking
The Egyptians were the first to grow the Lettuce and making it less bitter and nicer to eat. Served in the 6thcentury BC to Persian Kings, according to Herodotus.
The Egyptians taught the Greeks how to grow Lettuce which they used for
- Medicinal purposes
- Served as a salad
- Eaten before meals to aid digestion
- Mentioned in Greek Mythology, Aphrodite’s lover Adonis died in a bed of Lettuce, killed by a boar
- Associated with male impotence
- Used at deaths and funerals
The Romans called Lettuce Lactuca, which means “milk” of the white sap. Like the Greeks, they too associated Lettuce with sexual potency, and it increased sexual stamina, other qualities of Lettuce included:
- Medicinal purposes
- Serve as a salad before meals to stimulate digestion
- Sleeping aid when eaten in the evenings
My Aero Gardening is for information purposes only; by providing the information contained herein, we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any disease or medical condition. Before beginning any natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
It is said that Pliny the Elder in 77 AD. Produced several cultivars:
- The black Lettuce, sown in January.
- White Lettuce was sown in March.
- The red in April.
- And Purple.
From Ancient Egypt to Space
Lettuce was transported around the world and from there into space. There is a lot more information on Lettuce and the taboos associated with overeating. For example, when British women first encountered Lettuce, they were too scared to overeat because they believed it made them barren.
You want to know how to grow Lettuce in your AeroGarden?
Seed Pod kits contain
Gourmet Lettuce Blend of 7 Red and green lettuce leaves:
- Six pods of pre-seeded grow pods (you can also purchase 9 or 12)
- Gourmet Lettuce contains Red/Green, Romaine and butter leaves
- Liquid fertiliser
- Grow domes
- Growing guide
Benefits of Homegrown Lettuce
- Germinates between 7 days to 14 days, sprouting could occur much earlier
- Harvest between 4 to 6 weeks
- Grows all year round
- Harvest up to 6 months or longer
- Pre-seeded grow pods are easy to insert in your AeroGarden
- Add water and nutrients.
- Selected seeds-tested
- Produce profitable growth, colour, yield and taste fresh
- Seeds are non-gmo, not treated with herbicides or pesticides
- If any pods fail to grow, replacement is free
- Pure Canadian Sphagnum peat
- Grows in soil-free, no mess, indoors
Lettuce has excellent nutritional value:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K,
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B2
- Omega – 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic Acid
Lettuce is also high in fibre.
Health benefits of eating Lettuce
Eating lettuce has good health benefits, helps in supporting, promoting and maintaining healthy levels:
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Heart health
- Brain health
- Regular sleep
- Fights anaemia
- Weight loss
The growing lights can be very bright, and sometimes we turn them off, forgetting that Lettuce loves lots of light for optimum growth. The lights need to be as low as possible because the more light Lettuce receives, the larger the leaves will grow.
Leaves can grow to a height of 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30cm)!
AeroGarden guarantees that their seed varieties, tested and they offer high-quality yields, flavour, colour and look amazing in your system.
There are two ways you can harvest your Lettuce:
- The haircut is ideal for larger leaves, trim to 1/3 of the size with scissors or gardening shears—ideal for salads. You can prune this way at least 2-3 times per week.
- Single leaf cut is ideal if you want to pick one or two leaves for a salad sandwich or to garnish a meal. Cut the largest leaf as low as possible. Use your fingers, scissors or gardening shears. A good hint regarding your Lettuce is you should always wash your Lettuce in clean water before consuming.
Pruning back your lettuce leaves evenly, never have the lights too high or too low. The light should be just high enough to allow the light to reach the smaller ones, increasing their growth. The optimum height is 4-6” above the plants; otherwise, you may burn or get browning on your leaves.
It is essential to harvest your Lettuce early and regularly. The recommended number of times is two to three times per week after the initial third week.
The optimum temperature for growing Lettuce indoors
Lettuce loves cooler temperatures. If your house is too warm, your Lettuce will assume its summer and could run to bolt. It will flower and produce seed. Your Lettuce will be unsuitable for eating.
The ideal temperature in your room for growing Lettuce is from 12.8 to 21 degrees Celsius (55-70 degrees Fahrenheit).
Can Lettuce be planted with other plants?
You can plant Lettuce with other plants such as herbs. It’s a great idea to mix them up. For example, if you have a six pod AeroGarden Harvest, you can plant three of your favourite herbs and three of your lettuces.
AeroGarden 9011100-1399 black Harvest w/Heirloom, Salad
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On a final note
Lettuce has undoubtedly come a long way since its early beginnings in Ancient Egypt growing in the wild. It was then introduced to the world and is now grown in space to be eaten by the astronauts.
Today, you can select varieties that taste sweeter and have a buttery flavour than its ancestors that had a bitter taste. Growing Lettuce is found in the wild and growing in gardens and indoors in hydroponic or AeroGarden systems and space.
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If you are an AeroGarden lover or would like to become one, I would love to hear your feedback on the systems, plants you have grown or issues you have faced and success stories.