GrowIn' Lettuce

Family name: Daisy family (Compositae)

Vegetables that belong to this family are chicory, endive, scorzonera and lettuce. All these can be grown in the same way. This family is related to the Dandelions. Oriental greens like mustard and rocket and a lot of the Chinese leaves, like misuna, belong to the Brassica family but are usually eaten in the same salad as the lettuce. Although they seem similar, they are a different family and therefore take a different place in your crop rotation.

Soil, sowing and planting

Lettuce likes a neutral (pH 6.5), rich and free draining soil. It’s also good to add some compost in order to retain the water in the soil.

Lettuce can germinate in cool climates. If its too hot they tend to bolt and run to seed very quickly. When you sow lettuce first they don’t require much soil, so they can be sown into smaller modules. When plants are about 5 cm tall they can be planted into the permanent bed, 20 cm apart from each other.

Lettuce can be sown all year around. At least every two to three months.

Harvest

Lettuce can be harvested all year around by picking the leaves singly from the stem of different lettuce plants, starting at the base of the stem.

Pests and diseases

Since lettuce has a short growing season, not many things effect them. But mind you, slugs love them. A pond with frogs can help out with that. There are also slug pellets available made out of iron, which are harmless to all other species and are organically approved. These can also be used to keep the slugs in check. Use the slug pellets on the plants especially when they are still small, as this is the time that they’re most vulnerable to slugs. Please don’t use any chemical slug pellets, as they are very dangerous. Alternatively slugs can be picked off at night, by the light of a flashlight.

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