Mavis Indoor Garden Blog – Lettuce and Basil

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Just because the weather outside stinks, doesn’t mean you have to stop gardening all together.  I started this flat of Italian basil back on October 30th, and all the sudden it’s gone gangbusters. Right now the basil is about 5-inches high, and we have been using basil leaves here and there in a few dinner dishes.  Not to shabby for gardening in December if you ask me.

2 weeks ago I started some butterhead lettuce indoors.  I guess I didn’t think the whole thing through because now I’m not sure what I’m suppose to do with it.  Should I re-pot the lettuce and move it out to the greenhouse, or just leave it in the flat and pick the leaves off a little at a time?

The temps are suppose to dip into the 30′s this weekend so I’m not too sure if I should be moving it outside or not.  What do you think? Should I just thin it out and grow a few heads under the grow lights, or move the lettuce outside to the greenhouse?

I could you your advise.


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  1. Elaine Standley says:

    Leave it! I had moved mine to the green house and 7 hours of 30 degree weather killed them :(

  2. If you have heaters in the green house then go for it otherwise it might kill em.

    I also wanted to let you know I gave you a shout out on my about me part of the blog. You’ve truly inspired many!

  3. Here’s a link to a couple in Georgia who successfully grow greens in an unheated greenhouse in December. They report temperatures as low as 8 deg. F. It looks like they put the plants under row cover inside the greenhouse.

    God luck which ever way you decide to go.

  4. Mavis, Put your lettuces in the greenhouse, and use row covers over it also. I do not have a green house, only greenhouse plastic and very large buckets and cover the plants up at night with frost row covers, several of them. I am in zone 5 and have successfully grown spinach on the south side of my home, with protection, and kept alive at temps of -20. But this was with heavy protection, and a lot of experimenting.
    It can be done.

  5. Mavis, I would get bales of straw, shape them in a rectangle. Add some dirt and compost etc…what ever you prefer. Plant the lettuce inside the hay bales and just lay an couple of old windows, a sheet of plexy glass, or just a sheet of plastic when the weather threatens them. If it really gets cold, I would through an old blanket. Leave it off when the weather is nice.

    This is a temporary “cold frame”. You can reuse it for a few seasons.

    When the straw starts to rot use it to mulch the garden and shade out weeds.

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