Monday, 12 March 2012

How to Grow Lettuce

So as promised, here is the first in my "how to grow" series. Some of these are so simple that I feel a little silly sharing them, but I guess for people that don't know and are interested to learn then they might be helpful. Before I started to grow my own fruit and veggies, I didn't have a clue where to start, so I hope this series will be good for anyone wanting to learn! If you have anything you're particularly interested in growing but are unsure how, leave a note in the comments section and I'll try to do a how to on it.

1. You need a little tray to start the seedlings off in. The first year I tried growing lettuce, I sowed them straight outside which was an incredibly bad idea as the slugs ate them as soon as they sprouted! So it's best to start them inside. I've started using these old takeaway boxes as they're ideal and have a lid which is perfect, but any tray will do, you can recycle something or buy the trays from garden centres.

2. Poke some holes in the bottom of your tray if it doesn't already have some. I used a pin for these but a small nail would be better as these are a little too small and I'll have to be careful not to overwater them.

3. Fill the trays with compost, leaving a gap of about one or two cm from the top.

4. Thinly sprinkle lettuce seeds over the compost. Don't tip the seeds straight from the packet as it's too easy to end up with a big clump. Tip some into your hand and sprinkle them over. For these trays, I put a mixture of iceberg lettuce and a pretty, marbled butterleaf lettuce. Finely cover with some more compost, then firm down the entire tray with your hand. Water gently so as not to wash the seeds away.

5. Poke a couple of holes in the lid if what you're using has one and snap into place; if not you can use cling film, or it's not actually imperative that you had a lid, it just helps keep the seeds a little warmer. Put them on a sunny windowsill, and keep checking daily that the compost is damp, but not saturated.

6. When shoots start to appear, take the lids off and leave them off. Let them grow on in the tray for a while longer. If they seem too close together, then you will need to thin them by pulling some out so they are more evenly spaced.

7. When seedlings are big enough, transplant them into containers or the garden and let them grow to full size:

how to grow lettuce

Friday, 9 March 2012

No Impact

I saw this video today and thought it was really quite powerful and just wanted to share!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A little recap


 I've just had the best couple of days. We've been having pretty nice and mild weather lately, so I've been out in the garden for a lot of it with my two furry helpers. Yesterday I did mostly clearing but on Tuesday I was planting up a storm, I planted rhubarb, strawberries, lettuce, wheatgrass, potatoes, sunflowers, rosemary, blackberries, blueberries, and a couple of different types of flowers. I've been thinking about doing a "how to grow" series for those of you that are interested in growing your own fruits and vegetables but don't have any experience in it. I don't claim to be an expert at all, and I'm always learning new things but growing your own food is a lot of fun, and great for the environment. I read this article a couple of days ago and thought it was really interesting, although not particularly suprising! Anything that gets kids outdoors, learning and having fun is a good thing in my book.


When we bought our house, there were a few rotten sheds in the garden that we had to take down, but as we were doing so we found the most beautiful old terracotta pots. Some big ones and some small ones. What a treasure! I absolutely love them and have planted some things in them. (Oh and you can see how desperately my garden needs sorting out in the above photo - look at all the weeds!)

Do you grow anything edible in your garden? Check back on Monday for the first "how to grow" post... lettuce!

PS: You might have noticed, but I've changed my blog name! I felt like I'd outgrown the name "ecoprincess" (I started this blog when I was a lot younger! Haha) and I want to post a bit more varied stuff than just recipes so from now on I shall be... Bake, Sew, Grow!


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