Lettuce is an easy-growing salad that requires little space and is very accessible, even on a balcony.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Lactuca sativa
Family : Asteraceae
Type : Annual
Height : 20 to 30 cm
Exposure : Sunny, partial shade
Ground : Ordinary
Harvest : About 6 weeks after sowing
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Sowing and planting, caring for and harvesting lettuce will help you have beautiful salads throughout the seasons.
Lettuce is sown in place and in line of February to October depending on the types and species of lettuce. The earlier you start, the more you have to protect it with a frame, bell or tunnel.
When to sow lettuce?
We start sowing lettuce at the end of winter and in spring:
Sow in the nursery in February / March. Remove the tunnel as soon as the frosts end.
- Summer lettuce:
Seed in place from April to June.
- Fall lettuce:
Sow in place from May to June.
Concerning the summer sowing, germination is difficult beyond 20 ° so do not hesitate to sow them in a slightly cooler place, even in the shade ...
- Winter lettuce:
Sow under cover from August to October.
In all cases, it will be appropriate to thin out to 25/30 cm as soon as the first leaves appear.
You should also know that salad grows very well in a pot and that you can therefore enjoy it on your balcony or terrace.
If you want to avoid the sowing stage, buy your potted lettuce directly (bucket) with a few leaves.
You will then plant them in the ground, whether in vegetable garden or in a ferry on a terrace or balcony.
- Choose a partially sunny spot, even in a pot on a balcony.
- Do not bury the collar (base of the plant), so let this part touch the top of the earth.
- Respect a distance of 30 cm between each plant and water regularly.
- Plant what you need and renew the plantings regularly.
Slugs and snails love lettuce, so don't hesitate to protect them with a net.
Harvest your salads, lettuce or romaine, when the core of these has reached a good size.
- When harvesting, do not pull out the roots as this will prevent it from making new leaves.
- It is better to use a voucher knife and cut the lettuce 2 cm above the collar.
- Leave the white part in this way and new shoots will appear quickly for another harvest.
- Water regularly to keep the soil moist.
- It is essential harvest before going to seed
Don't wait to harvest your lettuce because the crunchier it is, the better!
Store lettuce well
Although its shelf life is relatively short, it can be kept a little longer by placing it in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, surrounded by a tea towel or loosely wrapped plastic wrap.
- But the best path for lettuce is still the one that goes from the garden to your plate!
Lettuce in winter
It is possible to harvest lettuce all year round but also in winter.
For this, choose varieties of winter head lettuce like the Winter Wonder, the Winter Green Passion, the Blooddrop Batavia, the Val d´Orge, or the Winter Brown.
- You will sowAugust to October, directly in place.
As soon as the first cold weather arrives, you go protect your seedlings and crops with a small greenhouse, a tunnel or any other support allowing your lettuce to grow despite the frost and allowing maximum light to pass through.
All you need to know about lettuce
Relatively easy to grow, lettuce requires little maintenance throughout its growth, other than regular but measured watering.
An annual of the asteraceae family, lettuce is relatively poor in energy value while containing a large amount of water and an excellent omega 3 intake.
There are also trace elements, fiber, minerals and vitamins essential for the proper development of our organizations.
You will understand, the salad has many advantages, both for its ease of cultivation and for its nutritional qualities.
- To read : Health Benefits of Lettuce
Vary the sowing periods as well as the varieties (lollo rossa, batavia, frisée, red Grenoble, etc.) in order to have lettuce almost throughout the year.
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