We have sprouts!
There is new life in my apartment and I am filled with a mix of pride and a bit of trepidation.
On Monday night, my twin sister Katie came over and taught me how to build a sub-irrigated planting container to grow lettuce in my apartment. There will be a video on Monday showing how we built it, as well as a full list of instructions.
Sprouts can pop up as early as two days and as long as 14, says Katie, an urban farmer, permaculture designer and whole foods chef.
So why would my lettuce sprouting cause me alarm? I don't have enough light. My rented condominium has some southern light and some light from the west, but lettuce needs steady light for most of the day.
The plan was to build a grow light this weekend to simulate sunlight before the sprouts came up. Apparently the lettuce had other ideas.
I called Katie in a bit of a panic before I left for work to ask what could happen. Half asleep and completely calm she explained the sprouts could grow taller than usual - or get "leggy" - searching for light. The danger there is they could grow too fast and tip over or get weak. But, sprouts come up in batches so even if we lose the first round my entire crop is not doomed to fail.
We briefly discuss rigging the lamp in my bathroom as a temporary light source, but realize it has the wrong bulb.
I let her go back to sleep, take pictures like a proud and anxious parent and continue getting ready for work.
I'm heading to Home Hardware on the weekend to get everything we need to make sure the lettuce has a fighting chance. At least until it matures to the point when it can be considered salad.