Don’t you just hate it when you go to make a salad, only to realise there’s nothing but a couple of limp leaves in the fridge? Well, you can have a constant supply at your fingertips by setting up a lettuce patch in a hanging basket. Most of the fancy varieties will grow through the cooler months. Plus, the basket doubles as a self-serve centrepiece on an outdoor table, so the family will have fun picking their own fresh leaves for dinner!
Keep it growing
Continue harvesting your salad basket for many months by breaking off the outside leaves of the lettuce as you need them. Don’t worry, this won’t kill the plant, as it will keep regenerating – vegies like these are called cut-and-come- again. To keep it producing, hang the basket in a sunny spot and water it when the top 1cm of soil is dry – just lift the basket onto the ground for convenience. Feed it with soluble fertiliser every couple of weeks, and if you find you’re using the leaves quickly, just plant up extra baskets.
Gather your supplies
• Hanging basket with coir liner
• Potting mix
• Water-retaining crystals
• Punnets of lettuce seedlings
• Soluble fertiliser
You'll also need
Bucket; trowel; watering can; spray bottle
Half fill hanging basket with potting mix.
Mix water-retaining crystals with water in a bucket, following packet instructions.
Put crystals on top of potting mix and, using your hands, mix together.
Using a trowel, carefully scoop out small pockets of potting mix, with 1 in centre, then enough for remaining lettuce seedlings around rim. Remove lettuce seedlings from punnets, taking care to keep roots intact. Put seedlings in holes, firming soil around them.
Mix up a soluble fertiliser, such as Yates Uplift, in a watering can and water basket thoroughly. Also pour a little solution into a spray bottle and give seedlings a foliar feed to speed up growth rate.
Hang your basket in a sunny position or put it on your outdoor table, then wait for the leaves to flourish.