I was in search of soilless growing material. I had no idea what it was or what it looked like, but knew that a search online brought many sites for growing marijuana at home. I ventured to Home Depot and the result was really no different than my fruitless online search. Then I went to our local nursery (a brief aside, it’s called Lowe’s. I think it’s an unfortunate name because of the big box store of the same name. They are a really nice family and helpful, so I overlook the confusing name and expect the unproductive conversation Michael and I always have when I say I’m going to Lowe’s.).
Anyway, the folks at Lowe’s knew exactly what I wanted. And I spent about half an hour explaining why I needed it -- not to grow illegal drugs at home, but to try out my first garden experiment of 2011: lettuce boxes.
I heard about these from a Master Gardener Class I took earlier this year (yes, I understand how dorky that sounds!). I found the directions here. Rather than buying new wood, wire and screen, I decided to use found objects around the house/shed/garage. Other than buying the soilless growing material, cheapo handles and wheels for easy transport, these boxes were pretty low-cost and should bring months of salads this summer and into fall.
Here are the steps that I’ve gone through so far:
1. My intricate and detailed plans.
2. Box frames in various stages of finish -- I added screen on the inside, and mesh to hold the fake soil and plants to come.
3. The boxes full of the soilless growing material and seeds.
4. Small little shoots of lettuce.
5. Finally, a close-up of the lettuce – they are about 2 inches high right now.
I hope step #6 will be to rinse and add vinaigrette.