Lettuce In Wine Barrel 2 Small

Lettuce in a Wine Barrel

Here is a really quick way to get a lot of lettuce in a short period of time while protecting it from those pesky slugs and snails.

Lettuce in Wine BarrelI plant my lettuce in a half wine barrel planter for a number of reasons. It looks decorative in the garden. It grows very quickly. It is easy to harvest the lettuce at a raised height. It greatly reduces the number of slugs and snails that devour the tender seedlings and then the leafy greens. And you can place it in a partially shady location like under a tree that will prevent the lettuce from overheating and bolting.

How to Grow Leaf Lettuce in a Half Wine Barrel Planter

You don’t actually need such a deep planter as lettuce has fairly shallow roots. You can save soil costs by filling the bottom of the barrel with a large upside down plastic pot, then top the rest of the planter with a good quality soil mix for containers. I love me some Sea Soil as has been mentioned many times. This nutritious soil is made of composted waste from the forestry and fishing industries. No matter what I grow in Sea Soil, it seems to grow three times better than in my regular garden soil.

Preparing a Wine Barrel Planter

You can buy a container gardening soil mix or make your own by adding 2 parts peat moss and 1 part pearlite to 4 parts well composed soil. Mix well in a wheelbarrow then fill up the planter.

Planting Lettuce in a Wine Barrel

You can plant lettuce seeds directly, but nursery lettuce plants are really inexpensive. You can often get 6 more for just a few dollars. I think I spent $5 on a mix of seedlings that I planted in the barrel.

In just 3 weeks, this is what the lettuce barrel looks like. Now we are harvesting lettuce every day for our salads, sandwiches and snacks.

Lettuce in a Raised Planter

To harvest, you can either cut the outer leaves of the plants or harvest a whole head. If you cut the leaves, the rosette in the center will keep growing, but make sure you harvest it all before it starts to flower (this is called ‘bolting’) or the leaves will become bitter.

If you harvest a whole head, then buy a few more seedlings and replace them as you cut. This way you will have a constant supply of lettuce throughout the season!

Lettuce in a Wine Barrel

Please note that the opinions expressed are my own. I have had a love affair with Sea Soil for many years and was delighted when they agreed to sponsor Garden Therapy. If you have tried it in your own garden, you know.


About the Author : Stephanie RoseAn artistic gardener aiming to feed the body & soul through an urban potager garden & a community veggie plot in Vancouver.View all posts by Stephanie Rose

  1. Debbie Feely
    Debbie FeelyAugust 26,13

    Oh, I was all set to find some Sea Soil, but I am in the US, not Canada. Sounds good. I like lettuce in pots too.

  2. Lauren
    LaurenMarch 23,14

    I love this! The rabbits and groundhogs are awful in my area. Would this work if I started my seeds indoors to get them off to a head start before the pesky rodents discover them?

  3. Stephanie
    StephanieMarch 23,14

    Hard to know if they would stay away, Lauren. But if you try please let us know!

  4. tammy
    tammyApril 9,15

    Such a tease with the Sea Soil! Like Debbie, I am in the United States. Virginia, to be exact. Should you ever have a penchant for mailing sea soil to people, let me know. :)

  5. Stephanie
    StephanieApril 9,15

    Hi Tammy – sorry you can’t get SeaSoil in Virginia…I will be doing a giveaway for some pretty cool SeaSoil gardening shirts with the flower power crew on them, so keep up with us and just maybe one will come your way.

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