Lettuce grows best at relatively low humidity. And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 5 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing lettuce. Diatomaceous earth sprinkled around the plants may prevent these creatures from feeding on your greens. Before you plant your lettuce seeds, select a sunny spot and make sure the soil is prepared. The reason this type of lettuce is called looseleaf is because it doesn’t form a head and has numerou varieties. Again, you will want to fill these pots about 80% full with your potting mix. Romaine lettuce stands out by its crispy, crunchy, and dark green color. While there are hundreds of varieties of lettuce you can grow, I am recommending 4 kinds to choose from. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Please read below for instructions on how to grow lettuce from seed both indoors and outdoors. You should be able to get an earlier start in the spring and a later crop in the fall. Hybrid seeds were made from combining the genes of the same group of plants. Because of how difficult it can be to grow, it is also the most expensive type of lettuce sold in restaurants and you can expect the least amount of harvest if you grow it. Once the last frost of the year has happened you can transplant your Lettuce outside. The miner’s lettuce plants tend to grow best in cool and moist conditions. This type of seed is what most gardeners use when learning how to grow lettuce from seed. These seeds contain all the lettuce original traits and produce some of the most beautiful and best-tasting lettuce out there. Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. Effectively Care for your Lettuce THIS Way! Next, you can transplant your lettuce plant to a 5 Gallon Nursery Pot. Lettuce prefers soil that is high in organic material, with plenty of compost and a steady supply of nitrogen to keep if growing fast. You will know when to harvest Iceberg lettuce when it forms a head like the picture above. You can do this by taking scissors and snipping the smaller of the plants right at the soil line. While the plant grows smaller than other types of lettuce, it has a tender but delicious flavor. Do THIS if you will be keeping your Lettuce in its container all summer! During hot weather, the plants bolt (send up flower shoots to produce seeds), and at that this point, the leaves become tough and inedible. Cover with a very thin layer of compost or vermiculite. Leafy varieties of lettuce take about 30 days to mature enough to harvest, while other types may take as much as six to eight weeks. For this reason, most gardeners remove leafy varieties of lettuce during the hot months of mid-summer in favor of other vegetables; they may return to lettuce when weather cools again. Lettuce seeds can be sown directly where you want them to grow, but the problem with this is that it leaves the emerging seedlings vulnerable to the hoards of pests that just love to eat them. Planting Lettuce Seeds Step-By-Step. You will then place it in your 5-gallon pot and fill it with soil. Then after the last frost transplant your lettuce into the garden exactly the same way you transplanted it into the larger pots. However, best germination occurs at 55 to 65 degrees, so in regions with long, cool summers, planting can be delayed somewhat. Use an insecticidal soap or citrus oil to combat these. Make sure you leave the proper spacing of about 12 inches between the rows. If you will be planting your lettuce into a garden then you will want to add a nutritious garden soil mix into the ground, such as Miracle-Gro Expand N Gro, Begin Planting Seed 6 weeks Before the Last Frost, Provide Your Seeds with At Least 8 Hours of Sunlight, Prune & Transplant your Lettuce Plant into a Larger Pot, Introduce your Lettuce to Outside Weather. Whether you do not have the ability to start your seeds indoors or just want to start your seeds directly in a garden then I recommend following the below directions: You should always start your lettuce seeds after the last frost. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. While this type of lettuce is much less heat tolerant than other lettuce, it does store and transport much better. It is far better to sow the seeds onto fine soil in a seedling tray or a pot, … If you transplant your lettuce before the last frost it may die. Raised Beds. In addition, expect the least amount of yield from this type of seed due to susception of disease and other elements. The idea is to leave 12 inches between each plant as well if growing a large head variety of lettuce. You will only need to apply compost or Miracle-Gro Potting Mix. Living mulch Below, is a 2 step process for transplanting your Lettuce outside into your garden. Cori is a freelance writer based out of Ontario, Canada, who specializes in houseplants and houseplant care. In future growing seasons, rotate the location of crops so that you don't plant lettuce repeatedly in the same location, since pathogens may linger in the soil. For gardeners who enjoy making sandwiches and salads of all types, lettuce is an indispensable part of the garden. protect from slugs and snails. There are a surprising number of lettuce varieties to choose from, ranging from limp loose-leaf lettuces ideal for sandwiches to crunchy crisphead (iceberg) lettuces that are the mainstay of many salads. Growing lettuce can be a little bewildering since there are so many subvarieties. To improve overall lettuce production, consider using the following four techniques. Lettuce seeds will germinate best at temperatures between 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you don’t have the time or ability to create compost then I recommend buying Miracle-Gro Plant Food for your lettuce. How you plant lettuce will depend on what type you are growing: All lettuces need a relatively weed-free environment since lettuce doesn't like to compete for nutrients and water. Finally, looseleaf has the highest nutritional value but also is known to bolt or seed the quickest in warm weather. Potential disease problems include downy mildew, powdery mildew, shot hole, bottom rot, septoria leaf spot, Botrytis (gray mold), and wilt. These diseases usually occur in damp, humid conditions. Romaine lettuce will take about 60-70 days to mature and you will know when to harvest Romaine lettuce when the center leaves grow together to form a lengthy head. Don’t get too caught up on what the seed packet says about the proper way to plant lettuce seeds. To keep the soil fertile, feed it with composted organic matter about one week before you seed or transplant. Some afternoon shade may delay the bolting process. Not only this, but it tends to do better in cooler temperatures and may even get bitter if the weather turns too hot. It is very easy to grow and is is considerably tastier than store-bought. If you want to learn more about growing Lettuce in containers, I recommend watching the below video: Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow outside, no matter where you live. Do THIS to Transplant your Lettuce into your Garden! University of Massachusetts Amherst, Diseases of Lettuce Crops. Tip #6: Effectively Harvest Lettuce THIS Way! Humid conditions may foster fungal problems, such as powdery mildew or downy mildew.. As you can tell from the above picture, Romaine lettuce tends to grow straight up from the ground and is one of the most popular types of lettuce used in restaurants. If you start Lettuce seeds inside, you will need a sunny window that receives direct light or a grow-light. To maximize lettuce production, plant seeds in raised beds. Home Gardening Series - Lettuce. Dig 1/8 inch holes with the tip of your finger or a pencil. Leaf lettuce can stop growing when it is preparing to bolt (go to seed).
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