I have a tray of tired looking supermarket "living lettuce". You're supposed to keep it on your windowsill and use it up over a week or two.

Can I treat the living lettuce as a tray of seedlings and plant it out? It would be under glass at this time of year, of course.

It looks a bit like a tray of seedlings you'd buy from a garden centre in the spring, but not quite as healthy and much tighter packed in (several plantlets in each pot).

  • Is there something you would like me to add to my answer? – J. Musser Feb 11 '15 at 16:10

Yes, you can. Don't try to separate the plants, plant them in groups as they are potted. The biggest issue I see is the potential to bolt, which is high under the proposed conditions, at least for tired crowded plants. If you don't mind, you can remove all but the healthiest seedling at the base, to provide better conditions for the remaining plant.

  • Do you think using a high nitrogen low phosphorus fertilizer would help it not to bolt, or would that be predetermined before you even planted it? – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Nov 15 '14 at 23:48
  • @Shule High nitrogen fertilizer is useful, I don't see a reason for withholding phosphorus. You want intense sun, cool temperatures, high moisture, lot's of organic matter, and nitrogen. – J. Musser Nov 15 '14 at 23:54
  • I just thought it might need phosphorus to produce flowers/seeds, and adding nitrogen without it might cause lots of leaf growth and no flowers. Or maybe that's just peppers or something. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Nov 15 '14 at 23:59
  • @Shule Phosphorus is a component of the complex nucleic acid structure of plants, which regulates protein synthesis. Phosphorus is, therefore, important in cell division and development of new tissue. Phosphorus is also associated with complex energy transformations in the plant. It promotes root growth, and I see no reason for withholding it. – J. Musser Nov 16 '14 at 0:02
  • 1
    @Shule You didn't ping. What might surprise you: Phosphorus is necessary in the production of flowers, but its presence in a good amount will not initiate the growth of a flower stalk. However, stress will cause bolting, and because low level of phosphorus are more stressful to the plant than a good supply, you are more likely to see bolting if you don't fertilize with lots of phosphorus than if you do. – J. Musser Nov 18 '14 at 1:10

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