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how to start a vegetable garden
tomato seedlings
growing lettuce
peat moss
drainage holes
garden soil
new leaves
cat litter
How To Start A Vegetable Garden - 30 Day Challenge - Growing Lettuce From Seed
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How To Start A Vegetable Garden  -  30 Day Challenge  -  Growing Lettuce From Seed

Welcome to Day 17 of the 30 Day Challenge: How to Start a Vegetable Garden.

Over the last week or so, I've been preparing my seedlings for potting up or transplanting. Today, I decided it was time to dig in and transfer these little guys into their new homes.

While I did pot up some of my tomato seedlings today, I'm more excited about my lettuce and the journey taken to get these little seeds into their permanent homes today.

Growing Lettuce From Seed

It was approximately 6 weeks ago that I planted tiny little iceberg lettuce seeds into six 1"x1" starter pods filled with seed starting soil.

The seeds were so tiny, I couldn't imagine that an entire head of lettuce started with something so small. But, I put 3 seeds in each pod, covered them for 2 weeks and waited.

After 2 weeks or so, the skinniest of plants began to grow. Five of them to be exact.

These little seedlings grew tall, approximately 2 inches, but the stems were still so thin I was afraid they weren't going to make it.

Then, something amazing happened. The first lettuce leaves began to grow.

Over the next 3 weeks, these tiny sprouts of new leaves became 3 inches of curly lettuce leaves and more began to grow.

Today, I decided it was time to place them in their permanent home.

I took my old cat litter container that I had disinfected a few weeks ago and drilled drainage holes in the bottom. I added a 4 inch mixture of garden soil and peat moss in the bottom and topped it with 2 inches of organic potting soil.

Inside this container, I placed all 5 lettuce seedlings, each spaced about 8-12 inches from each other.

I then sprinkled the plants with blood meal fertilizer since we have a lot of rabbits in our yard and I am fearful of my lettuce becoming dinner for someone other than me!

Tip: Blood meal is a good deterrent for rabbits. I have not used it on vegetables yet, but have had success keeping the rabbits from my flowers with it.

I am extremely excited and proud of my little lettuce seedlings. I will keep you updated on their progress.

30 Day Challenge

I hope you are finding useful information in my 30 Day Challenge articles. From designing your garden, building your raised bed, planting your seeds, and transplanting them to their permanent homes, I research every step of the process and share my knowledge with you.

If you have questions or concerns about your garden and its progress, post them here or on my blog. I will do my best to help you.


Street Talk

Thanks for sharing your knowledge! You've designed a great garden and have become a provider of useful information. Good job.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Cynthia. I appreciate the visit!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I really admire your challenge theme!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you, Maria! But, to be honest it was my husband's idea, I just made it 30 days / articles instead of the 2 weeks he suggested :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

here we go again, lol I just pined it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

I wish us luck! :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Alright AJ...makes everything so much fun with things work out like that..

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Kevin! These little seedlings have certainly been a surprise. I must say I've become attached to them :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Barbara9  

very nice article

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

thanks Barbara.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I love your challenge. I want to have the whole world see it. Think what we could do with world hunger and true, legitimate health, if everyone put in even a teeny-tiny vegetable garden. Would love to see a revolution where all communities throughout the world had community gardens that were tilled and cared for by people in the neighborhood, especially the children. If we can get our kids to actively participate in the growing of food, imagine what that would do to childhood obesity? If kids grow it, you know they would eat it. We've got to get out of the 'instant' gratification mindset and raise our children with the farmers mindset of sowing and harvesting. Thank you so much for sharing this challenge with us. I just might take it to our local school board.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Dr. Becky, you are 100% right. The motivation for me to write these articles was so people who knew nothing about growing a garden could learn from a relatively new gardener that it can be done, with relatively little space, and still produce a bounty of food for a family. More people need to read about Victory Gardens that were grown in the US during WWI and WWII. The story was an inspiration to me. During this time, people did plant gardens in community lots and grew food together. I wish the world go back to this, and hope my articles inspire this in many. Please feel free to share my articles and inspire the world to grow locally!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Ahhhh yes, the Victory Gardens! We do need to get back to that. I'm gonna start a mini-revolution here in The Keys!

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Please do, Dr. Becky. Let me know how I can help!

  
  about 7 years ago

This article sounded so joyful! What delight to have such success! I related to you needing to protect from rabbits. We bought a passionfruit vine already about a metre high last year and overnight it disappeared to the ground. I think possums were to blame. Apart from the cost the loss of hope for the wonderful little plant is devastating! We also have to protect our plants from the peacocks who sit on the fence and look down on our garden with great contemplation!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

Dern those passionate possums! Sorry for you loss. Are the peacocks yours'? They are beautiful animals, to the eye anyway, not sure what their personalities are like.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Johnney, I try very hard to give the peacocks away to visitors who admire them. They just wander around the streets here. I think they're left over from the horse farm that was here before the developers came in and built our subdivision. We hate them because the eat everything, nest in the garden (and they scratch around like a HUGE chicken), they poop everywhere which is not nice at the front door and on the neighbours garden furniture (we don't do too bad as we have a big dog in our yard!). Last christmas the neighbours constantly had their xmas lights ripped off the gutter from the birds landing there and they have also installed bars because one smart bird was attacking himself in the reflective glass. When they do arrive on your roof it sounds like a 747 has just come in. I'd better stop before I start hyperventilating. Yes they do look nice and as they moult each year the kids enjoy collecting the feathers. They put them up and shake them at our windows (we can see out and they see a mirror) so we can stand right in front of them and watch. AJ... relate to the devastation of the strawberries. How tragic!

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Heather, despite how frustrating the peacocks can be, I cannot help but smile at your description of their destruction. 747s, HA! I never knew how much of a nuisance they were!

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Oh no! I cannot believe that passion fruit vine was gone so fast! You are right about the hopes I have for my plants. I learned recently that the place I go to pick strawberries year may have lost their crop 2 weeks before harvest due to a cold patch. How devastating for them and us as a community to possibly not have this half acre or so of strawberry fields to pick from this year. We are all hopeful for their crop, and pray for our own as well.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

I enjoyed that, the first in your series for me. What a great idea to work through your 30 day challenge. I will be sure to go back to day one and catch up. Thanks again.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you very much, Johnney. This is a 30 day challenge I designed after completing Kyle & Carson's 30 in 30 challenge. 30 articles or blog posts about how I am starting my garden and all I've learned along the way. However, it's more like 30 articles in 60 days since I need to add growing time into the mix. I hope you enjoy the rest of my articles. Feel free to share your gardening experience with us - we've all learned a lot from each other's comments. Thanks for reading!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Johnney  

Oh, my bad, still a very wonderful idea that you are doing. My gardening experience I'm afraid is limited to 1. find the food, 2. pick it and 3. eat. But I must say, reading your article so far has brought back some fond memories of helping my grandmother in her garden when I was a very small child. So I also thank you for that. Keep up the great work.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

No worries, Johnney. I love that my articles brought back fond memories of your grandmother. Gardening and canning are great family activities and I love sharing these experiences with my own young children. I hope you are inspired and educated by my articles to try a few plants of your own.

  
  about 7 years ago

Good one again, somehow there's nothing quite as rewarding than growing your own from seed, too many by seedlings rather than the intricacies of growing from seed, you are showing them it is easy to do, great.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank you, Rob - great to see you! You are correct, it's so rewarding to see these plants grow from seed. They are doing so much better than I had hoped. Next thing to look at are my peppers, the seeds I planted directly in pots (then they got a good soaking) haven't sprouted yet. I need to see if this is because they are slow sprouters or if they just didn't take and I need to try again.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

We have got peppers sprouting where we accidentally dropped a seed, and growing as though they were meant to be.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Some morning research tells me the seeds are too cold to begin growing. I'm going to do a makeshift greenhouse over them and place them in a 100% sun place to gain more warmth to begin the sprout. Right now they are only in about 6-8 hours of sun, although we've had so many clouds of late they've received a lot less.

  
  about 7 years ago
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