Lettuce is a very simple vegetable to grow at home, it adapts to many spaces and containers. Among its many qualities, it contains vitamins (A, B, C, and E), antioxidants, low in carbohydrates, and more. In this post, you will learn how to grow lettuce from seed at home. Learn more about How to Grow Lettuce in this post.
Lettuce is a vegetable that has many varieties, from its shape, color, size, and flavor. There are hundreds of varieties, some are Raddichio, Vulcan, Jericho, Cherokee, Lollo Rossa, and more.
How to Grow Lettuce from Seed
Lettuce is one of the simplest vegetables to grow at home. It adapts to different spaces and climates; it prefers half or full sun and a soil rich in nutrients. We must have well-drained soil; we can use a mixture of black soil and leaf soil.
There are different ways to grow our lettuces at home, it can be direct sowing or transplantation.
– Direct sowing: In this method, we are going to use cultivation beds or containers such as crates or boxes with a minimum depth of 12″ (30cm). The soil mix must have a good organic matter content and efficient drainage. Level the soil well and trace furrows 0.4″ – 0.8″ (1-2cm deep) throughout the container with a row spacing of 3″ – 4″ (8-10cm). Place the lettuce seed 0.4″ – 0.8″ (1-2cm) apart, then cover the furrows with the soil that was left next to the seeds. Water your container when you finish planting.
– For transplant sowing: We must have a seedbed or container that has a good mix of soil with organic matter. Make holes 0.2″ – 0.4″ (0.5-1cm) deep and place the seed. Then cover with soil mixture and water your seedbed. The plants will start to sprout after 4-6 days. Our plants will be ready for transplantation when the second pair of true leaves appear.
For the transplant of the plants, we must have our space ready. The distance between plants is 6″ – 10″ (15-25cm) depending on the variety and we can use the close planting technique. When removing our plants from the seedbed we must not hurt the roots. If these are very curled we can cut them a little to promote their growth.
How to Grow Lettuce and Care Lettuce
Maintain soil moisture to develop properly lettuce. Do not over-saturate it to avoid disease problems. Plants are very sensitive, if they lose moisture and dry out on a hot day, their recovery will be difficult or will take time to do so.
You can cover your plants with transparent nylon to avoid pests, it also serves to maintain the temperature during winter.
Check the plants once a week to avoid damage from pests and diseases.
Remove old or diseased leaves.
Lettuce can be sown alongside carrots, beets, cabbage, cucumbers, strawberries, and radishes.
Harvest and Storage Lettuce
The harvesting of lettuce depends on the sowing method and the amount we want to use. Water the plants well the day before and harvest in the morning.
For sowing in boxes (direct sowing) the harvest is done when the lettuce leaves are approximately 4.7″ – 6″ (12-15cm) high (baby), its flavor will be milder. The harvest is done with a knife or scissors, taking a set by hand and cutting the leaves of the lettuce, leaving about 1″ – 1.5″ (3-4 cm) of the surface so that it can sprout again. With this technique, we can have two or three cuts of lettuce and we can only harvest the amount we need.
A technique to harvest lettuce is by removing the outer leaves (2-3 at a time) in this way, the plant continues to develop and we can harvest it gradually.
Another way to harvest our lettuces is by cutting the piece from the base.
After harvesting the lettuces, they should be washed in cold water and allowed to drain. They can be stored in a bag to keep moisture.