We love to have freshly grown lettuce during the colder months, but when we first started growing, we didn’t have a greenhouse.
Instead of giving up, we got creative and looked into hydroponics and the new AeroGardens.
Looking specifically for lettuce, which we eat a lot of, it took us some research and asking around to find the best AeroGarden for lettuce.
So if you want some more healthy leaves in your life, check out what we found below.
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Table of Contents
Best AeroGardens For Lettuce At A Glance
- OUR TOP PICK: AeroGarden Harvest Elite Platinum
- THE MOST THOROUGH OPTION: AeroGarden Farm
- THE EASIEST TO USE RIGHT AWAY: AeroGarden Harvest With Heirloom Salad Greens Pod Kit
Review Of The Best AeroGarden For Lettuce
AeroGarden Harvest Elite Platinum
In asking around to those who use hydroponics and AeroGardens in general, the Harvest Elite rose to the top of indoor lettuce gardens.
We’ve used it, and it works great and fits right on your counter.
This version of the Aerogarden can grow 6 plants at one time, all in one row.
This is the setup that works the best for growing lettuce.
As with all AeroGardens, you don’t use any soil to grow the plants, so there’s no mess.
Size-wise, it only takes up a small amount of space compared to some of the larger options, but you’ll still get a good yield from the lettuce.
Shockingly, even though the container is fairly small, we’ve got a huge amount of lettuce from it.
For new AeroGarden users, the display and setup are so easy.
At first, I was worried it would take a huge amount of learning to figure it out, but it was so easy!
What we liked:
- Easy to program and use
- It fits on your counter
- Nice layout for lettuce
- Affordable price
- Program for long-term watering
What we disliked:
- The pods that come with it may not sprout well
The Aerogarden farm is the big brother to the Harvest edition of the hydroponics system.
This one comes in at a much higher price, and it takes up a lot more space.
But for all this, you get a hands-off, mess-free, plant-growing system.
We didn’t get this right away, but now we keep one in our house and grow all year long.
It’s easy to use and set up, though it takes more work than the smaller versions.
With all that’s available on the Farm, you’ll be able to grow lettuce and much more.
This comes with a set of pods designed to grow everything you’d need for your own salad bar.
The Farm comes in different sizes as follows:
- 12 XL
- 24 Regular
- 24 Plus
- 24 XL
The numbers tell you how many pods are there, and the Plus and XL tell you the size of the pods.
Unless you plan on growing a lot of plants, you probably don’t need more than the 12 XL, but if you do enjoy many fresh veggies, greens, and herbs all year long, don’t discount it.
What we liked:
- Easy to use
- Holds many plants
- Programmable for hands-off growing
- Includes a good set of pods to start you off
What we disliked:
- Higher price
- It takes up more space
AeroGarden Harvest With Heirloom Salad Greens Pod Kit
This is a different version from the Harvest Elite listed above.
For this version, we have a lot of the same specs with two major differences:
First, the 6 pods on this one are set up in a 2 x 3 setup rather than a single row of 6.
In our experience and in talking to others, this isn’t as good for lettuce (though it still works well), but it gives it a bit more versatility with other veggies.
The other main difference is in the salad greens pod kit that comes with it.
If you want lettuce with almost any other AeroGarden set, you’ll need to also purchase the pods.
For this one, it comes included.
All in all, this makes the Harvest an easier to get up and go right away purchase than the other two, though the inclusion of the pod kit raises the price a bit.
What we liked:
- Plants grow super well and easily
- Display helps remind you when to add nutrients
- Plants are lush and tasty
- Comes with the kit on hand
- Mess-free and hands-off
What we disliked:
- While leaf pods worked well, some say the tomatoes didn’t sprout as nicely
For those looking to get into AeroGardens for lettuce, you won’t go wrong with the Harvest Elite.
The price point, easy use, and single row of 6 pods setup make this the go-to option.
If you want something even easier, get the Harvest with the pod kit to make sure you have everything right away.
For those who are serious about growing or have experience with a hydroponics system and want more, the AeroGarden Farm is the top dog.
All in all, we recommend starting with the Harvest Elite, and it’s our pick for the best AeroGarden for lettuce.
Tips For Tending To Lettuce In An AeroGarden
Every plant grows slightly differently, and while an AeroGarden or other hydroponic system will make it easy to grow, there are a few other tips you may want to follow to make your lettuce grow even better.
Position Lights Low
Lettuce is a ground cover plant; they don’t grow up into the air very much.
With this in mind, you’ll want to position the lights closer to the pods themselves.
As you prune or time back the plants, don’t move the light hood up.
This will force the lettuce to grow out more than up, which is the desired direction for lettuce (and also why we like the single row of 6 pods better than a 2 x 3 system).
Of course, if the lettuce starts to brown as it gets too close to the grow lights, you’ll want to raise it a bit, but the spirit of the setup is to keep lights as close as possible.
Put Lights 4-6” Inches Above The Plants
The LED grow light system on AeroGarden is great, and it’s one of the main reasons this particular brand has risen to the top of hydroponics products.
The only “downside” of these great lights is that they sometimes cause plants to bolt.
Bolting is when plants grow suddenly and quickly to a full height.
You’d be surprised exactly how quickly this is. In some cases, it happened overnight!
If your lettuce bolts and your light are too low, the tops of the plants will become unusable.
A height of 4-6” inches is around the perfect height for lettuce types.
It’s low enough to help add more nutrition and yet high enough to prevent most problems when bolting.
Add More Lights
If light helps with photosynthesis and growth, shouldn’t we just add a bunch more lights to help grow even more?
Not every plant thrives in excess light.
However, lettuce does!
Add some more lights by purchasing extra lights from AeroGarden or upgrading to a larger system like the Farm.
Just remember, you need specialty lighting, such as UVB, to help plants grow. Regular lights won’t cut it as they don’t offer the important nutrients and radiation.
Use A Fan To Add More Crunch
A lot of folks, including myself, prefer lettuce with a bit of crunch, and one of the big complaints about indoor lettuce is that it’s all wilty.
Lettuce gets its crunch from the toughness needed to withstand wind and outside weather. Inside, there isn’t any of this, so it doesn’t develop those fibers.
One cool hack I discovered was to put a small fan by the plants after they’ve sprouted and had it blow on it for part of the day.
This simulates the windy weather and helps toughen up the lettuce, giving it a nice crunch upon harvest.
It seems too easy to work, but it shockingly does!
Keep The Air Temperature Cooler
My wife keeps our house cold. We avoid turning on the heater until the home gets around 55° degrees Fahrenheit (13° C).
It turns out; this is great for lettuce.
If you keep a warm home, your lettuce won’t grow as well.
This is a cooler-weather crop; it does well in temperatures between 55-70° degrees Fahrenheit (13-21° C).
Keep the room where you keep the lettuce in this range and watch it grow even better.
Some people like to give their plants more light by keeping them in the window.
While this seems like a good idea, and it is for other plants, lettuce doesn’t grow well when it’s warm.
Even if your room is reading at 70° degrees Fahrenheit, the light energy coming through the window will up the plant’s temperature and make the lettuce stunted.