Growing lettuce in your garden requires frequent watering. You need to know the basics of gardening such as the need for the right type of soil, pH level, watering, maintenance, and harvesting. Once you know these, you can start planting lettuce with less problems regardless of your experience in growing plants.
When planting lettuce, it’s important to know which variety you want to plant and grow in your garden. Doing so will allow you to know the needs of your plant from seedlings until the time of harvest. There are four types of lettuce grown all over the world. These are the crisphead, cos (Romaine), loose heads, and the red leaf. Decide on which one you would like to plant and grow on your garden before you purchase the seeds.
Choose a location where the soil drains well yet is capable of retaining moisture. It’s important that your seeds are grown on moist soil to prevent bolting. A lettuce that has been planted on dried soil usually bolts at an early age. Aside from being able to retain moisture, the soil should also be rich in nitrogen and potassium. One way to make sure that it does have both is by adding organic matter such as animal manure or compost to your soil. The pH level of your soil should be around 6.0 to 6.8 before planting.
Start by sowing seeds indoors. Avoid planting during the summer as lettuce is a cool-season crop. However, it can still be grown during the summer if kept on partially shaded areas and watered throughout the day. Planting your seeds at least ½ inch deep will promote germination.
Transfer your seedlings as soon as they can withstand the weather outside. Usually, professional growers do this after a week to make sure that the plants are strong enough. Water the seedlings once they are transferred to their permanent growing area. Practice proper spacing to avoid overcrowding on the growing area. The spacing depends on the variety of your lettuce. Leaf lettuce should be planted at least 4 inches apart. Firm headed varieties should be spaced 16 inches apart. Cos and loose-heads will do fine with 8 inches.
Growing lettuce can be quite demanding of your time. They need to be watered and checked from time to time to make sure that their taste, texture, and color are in top condition. Lettuce also requires to be fed with fertilizers. Spray a water soluble fertilizer to enhance their growth. Usually, they should be fed at least 3 weeks after they’ve been transplanted to the garden bed. Remove all the weeds you see in your garden to avoid competition for the nutrients. Water your lettuce when needed as they rely heavily on moisture.
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