Polar Vortex Planting.

Single digit degree weather is the perfect time to plant lettuce…indoors.

Over New Year’s a friend was interested in how I double the lettuce I buy by regrowing it after I eat it! I thought I’d share my technique with you to save you money and green up your blistering cold winter, too. It escapes me who first showed me this neat trick.

P1070606First, I buy organic romaine hearts. Instead of ripping off the leaves, I cleanly chop off the bottoms, then score them and put them in a bowl of water for a few days to begin rooting and sprouting. After 24 hours you will see the new growth, which is pretty sweet. After a week, you’ll notice tiny rootlets sprouting from odd places on the bottom nubbin. I change out the water so it doesn’t get yucky as frequently as I can. After two weeks (or so, as in the pic directly below), they’re ready to plant in soil.

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In our county, even though plastic produce containers are labeled as recyclable, they are not, so I’ve been saving them for seed starting. WV and I punched a few holes into the bottoms and cut off their tops, to be used as drain trays. Then we filled the containers about 2/3 of the way full with dirt (after we defrosted it by a vent for most of the day), planted the growing lettuces I’ve had sitting by the sink and some seed lettuce as well! We had fun making a little bit of a mess inside, since it was too cold to go outside and dig in the dirt.

Keep them well watered, in full sun (if possible) and harvest when you see fit! Mine don’t seem to ever achieve the size of the originals, but they get close.

And it’s like there’s a little bit of spring in here; houseplants and giant cactii do not have the same aura as veggies growing.