The basic ingredient of any salad and of any sandwich or vegetable sandwich, Lactuca sativa, by all known as lettuce, is one of the most consumed herbaceous plants in kitchens around the world.
This plant has a large number of varieties among which we can highlight the iceberg lettuce, typical of supermarkets, the French lettuce or Trocadero, with intense flavor, romaine lettuce or Italian lettuce, also known as lettuce orejona, oak lettuce or oak leaf, and the batavia lettuce, among others. Each of them has its distinctive culinary properties, which make them more suitable for consumption in different ways. As shown, while in most of the world its leaves are eaten raw, there are varieties of Chinese origin that, being more robust, are cooked before being eaten.
If you want to know how to grow organic lettuce at home, keep reading this article let’s see when and how to plant lettuce and its cultivation, to enjoy this delicious vegetable without having to spend more on the shopping cart.
How to plant Lettuce?
Lettuce is an ideal plant for beginners, since it does not need special care and can grow in a very short time. So much so that it can be planted practically all year round in temperate climates . If you live in cold climates avoid sowing in the winter months, between December and February.
Steps to sow lettuce seeds
The most common way to plant lettuce is to plant the seeds in a nursery. It is also possible to carry out a direct sowing, but this will require thinning later to leave only the plants that develop better, so it is preferable to plant them in the seedbed and thus maximize the possibilities of each seed. To plant the lettuce seeds , simply follow these steps:
- Make a hole of just under 1 centimeter in the substrate of the seedbed, and introduce a seed in it.
- Then cover it with the mixture and water.
- In the same way, it is also recommended to moisten the mixture before planting, and to maintain it during the first days, although always avoiding puddles.
- In less than a week you should start to see the seedlings sprout, which will be ready to be transplanted as soon as they have their second pair of leaves.
- As an additional detail, some people recommend chilling the seeds for 2 days in the refrigerator, between sheets of absorbent or drying paper. This is especially useful in particularly hot climates.
How to transplant a lettuce plant?
Once the schools have their second pair of real leaves, the time has come to move them to their final location, which can be the garden, the garden or even a large pot. Follow these guidelines to transplant a lettuce plant:
- If you are going to plant several lettuces together, respect a distance of approximately 20 centimeters between them.
- Remove the plant from the seedbed taking care not to damage its roots, without removing the mixture of these, although if the roots are very curled on itself to extract, unscrew or cut a few centimeters can help them develop better.
- Once you have planted them in their final location, water them.
In addition, we recommend that if you plant in a garden or garden, around you plant other vegetables such as onions, beets and cabbages, as they are vegetables and vegetables that grow well together.
Care of the lettuce: how is its cultivation
Lettuce is a plant that does not require too much care, but one of the things that are demanding is with water.
Soil and irrigation for lettuces
This vegetable needs the soil to remain moist, especially in its early stages of life. Of course, you should not confuse a wet floor with a puddled one. If you water your lettuces in excess, you run a high risk of getting sick and suffering from pests or attacks.
Light, temperature and location
With regard to the sun, we have already said that it is a plant that needs a cool and humid environment, so it will be appreciated to be in a shady area. If you leave it in an area with direct exposure to the sun, a few days of hot weather could kill your lettuce.
Manure for lettuce
For soil or substrate, it is important to have good drainage and be rich in nutrients, for which you can use humus or other types of organic fertilizer.
When the lettuces are collected?
The lettuce harvest can be done for a long period of time, since they are still quite small until they reach their maximum size, but if you let them mature too much they will become bitter and will no longer be useful for consumption.
For this reason, and given that these vegetables ripen very quickly (some varieties grow in about 20 days) and for most of the year, it is advisable to plant them step by step, so that you can enjoy your own fresh lettuces throughout the season.