Start Lettuce From Seed in Recycled Containers

Updated: May 07, 2020

Start Lettuce From Seed in Recycled Containers

lettuce seedlings

If you like the delicious taste of home-grown lettuce, then this is the project for you.

Lettuce is very easy to grow and fall is a great time to plant your own.  You don’t have to have a vegetable garden plot – you can grow lettuce in a large container or even a recyclable grocery bag.

Would you like to join me with this fun gardening project?  It is fun and easy to do!

Romaine Lettuce Head

Lettuce should be planted outdoors at least 2 weeks before the first frost in your area – but you can plant it sooner.  To get a head start, you can plant your seeds indoors ahead of time while you are waiting for temperatures to cool and then transplant them out into the garden later.

plastic food container

All you need for this project is potting mix, recyclable plastic containers and lettuce seed.

Lettuce seed packets

1. First, you must make holes for drainage on the bottom of your plastic containers.


You can use any plastic container like those that produce are packed in or leftovers from your favorite restaurant.

2. To make the holes, I used a long nail.  I heated up the sharp tip of the nail in a candle.  It made it easy to melt little holes in the bottom.  Add at least 6 holes.

potting mix

3. Moisten the potting mix before adding it to the containers.  This is helpful because potting mix is often very dry and it can be hard to get it uniformly wet, after planting.

planting lettuce seeds

4. After adding the moistened potting mix, make little furrows 1/8″ deep in which to plant the seeds.  I like the end of a spoon for this.  

Seed Packets

5. Before adding the seeds, read the back of the seed packet for instructions on spacing and how deeply to plant the seeds.

Growing lettuce seeds

6. After planting the seeds, write down what type of lettuce you have and the date that you planted them.  This will help you know how soon they will sprout – each seed packet will give you a range of days of when the seedlings will appear.

7. Keep the newly planted seeds covered, which keeps them moist – like a miniature greenhouse.  Put the container in an area out of the sun, where the temperature is below 80 degrees or the seeds won’t sprout.

8. Open up your container daily and water using a spray bottle, if the soil begins to dry.

lettuce seedlings

9. Once your lettuce seedlings sprout, place the container by a sunny window.  Keep moist using a spray bottle.

lettuce seedlings

In a few weeks, your lettuce seedlings will be ready to transplant out into the garden.


Before you know it, you will be snipping fresh, delicious lettuce leaves for your dinner salad!

How about you?  Would you like to grow your own lettuce along with me?

I’ll keep you updated on how my lettuce is doing and will show you how to harden the lettuce off and transplant it outdoors in a few weeks.