Lettuce is a cool season crop, which is grown best in the spring and fall. Nowadays, new varieties of lettuce are getting introduced to farmers, which can tolerate cold and heat soil condition while normal lettuces grow in wet and moist soil. Romaine’s, Crisp heads, Butter heads, Leaf lettuce, Iceberg lettuce are the various kinds of lettuces. Lettuce is usually used in salads. It is the most reliable and easy growing’ ingredient of salad from the months of May to July. Lettuce can grow well under cool conditions and needs plenty of water to survive but a hard freeze condition will damage your lettuce. Lettuce is a good crop for smaller vegetable gardens because it doesn't take much space like cucumbers and tomatoes. Read on the article to know more about how to grow your lettuce.
Organic Lettuce Growing Tips
- Lettuce is a shallow rooted crop and mainly consist of water. So it is important to meet its moisture requirements. Lettuce plant can’t grow in dry soil. You must keep the soil wet to keep your lettuce plant alive. The roots of lettuce stay in the top four inches of soil.
- Check whether the soil is dry by sticking your finger into the soil. If you find them dry, you need to water them to have good results. You must water the soil several times per week in summer season.
- Mulching is a process of putting a protective cover over the soil, to modify the effects of the local climate. As with any plants, lettuces also benefit from a fine layer of mulch. Put in three inches layer of organic mulch, like leaves, straw, grass clippings, wood chips around the lettuce plants.
- Make sure that you leave space around the plant to prevent it from rotting. This layer will protect the soil from the local dry climate and will keep the soil cool and this helps you to reduce the amount of weeding you have to do.
- It’s important to fertilize the soil. If you are plating lettuce in a soil which is full of organic matter, you don’t need to fertilize. It is good to fertilize the soil with nitrogen rich fertilizer for making your plant grow well and produce good results.
- Fish emulsion is considered as the best organic fertilizer. You can apply the fish emulsion every two weeks in the lettuce planted soil. Foliar feeding is also considered as a good fertilizing method but make sure that you clean it properly before eating because in foliar feeding the liquid fertilizer is applied directly to the plants.
- Slugs are the deadliest enemies of lettuce plants. They can be prevented by setting out a saucer of beer or by splashing diatomaceous earth or crushes of eggshells around the lettuce plants. These substances being very sharp can cut the slug army when they slide across it and finally kill them.
- Aphids are also a problem for lettuce plants. If you find them disturbing your plants, knock them off with a blast of water from the hose. You can use some anti-insect spray also to get rid of them.