Gardening Tips

Sow lettuce: how and when to do it

Sow lettuce: how and when to do it

Basic ingredient of any salad and any sandwich or vegetable sandwich, the lactuca sativaknown by all 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 iceberg lettuce, common in supermarkets, French or Trocadero lettuce, with an intense flavor, romaine lettuce or Italian lettuce, also known as dried apricot lettuce, oak lettuce or oak leaf, and batavia lettuce, among others. Each of them has its distinctive culinary properties, which make them more suitable for consumption in different ways. As an example, 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 consumed.

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When 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 sown for practically all year in temperate climates. If you live in cold climates, avoid planting in the winter months, between December and February.

Sowing lettuce: how and when to do it - When to sow lettuce

How to sow lettuce seeds

The most common way of sow lettuce is to plant the seeds in a hotbed. Direct sowing is also possible, but this will require thinning later to leave only the plants that develop best, so it is preferable to plant them in a seedbed and thus maximize the possibilities of each seed. For plant the lettuce seedssimply follow these steps:

  1. Make a hole of a little less than 1 centimeter in the substrate of the seedbed, and insert a seed into it.
  2. Then cover it with the mixture and water.
  3. In the same way, it is also recommended to moisten the mixture before planting, and keep it that way during the first days, although always avoiding waterlogging.
  4. In less than a week you should start to see seedlings sprouting, which will be ready to be transplanted as soon as they have their second set of leaves.

As an additional detail, some recommend cooling the seeds for 2 days in the refrigerator, between sheets of absorbent or blotting paper. This is especially useful in particularly hot weather.

How to transplant a lettuce seedling

Once the seedlings have their second pair of true leaves, it is time to move them to their final location, which can be the vegetable garden, the garden or even a large pot. Follow these directions to transplant a lettuce seedling:

  1. If you are going to plant several lettuces together, respect a distance of approximately 20 centimeters between them.
  2. Extract the seedling from the seedbed being careful not to damage its roots, without removing the mixture of these, although if the roots look very curled on each other when extracting them, uncurling them or trimming them a few centimeters can help them develop better.
  3. Once you have planted them in their final location, water them.

In addition, we recommend that if you plant them in an orchard or garden, you plant other vegetables around them such as onions, beets and cabbages, as they are among the vegetables that grow well together.

Sow lettuce: how and when to do it - How to transplant a lettuce seedling

Lettuce care: how is its cultivation

Lettuce is a plant that does not require much care, but one of the things with which it is demanding is water.

Soil and irrigation for lettuce

This vegetable needs the soil to remain moist, especially in its early stages of life. Of course, you should not confuse a moist soil with a waterlogged one. If you water your lettuce excessively, you run a high risk of it getting sick and suffering from pests or attacks.

Light, temperature and location

Regarding the sun, we have already said that it is a plant that needs a cool and humid environment, so it will appreciate being in a shaded area. If you leave it in an area with direct sun exposure, a few days of hot weather could kill your lettuce.

fertilizer for lettuce

For the soil or substrate, it is important that it has good drainage and is rich in nutrients, for which humus or other types of organic fertilizer can be used.

When is the lettuce harvested?

The lettuce harvest It can be done over a long period of time, from when they are still quite small until they reach their maximum size, but if you let them ripen too long they will become bitter and no longer useful for consumption.

For this reason, and given that these vegetables mature very quickly (some varieties grow in about 20 days) and for almost the whole year, it is advisable to plant them in stages, so that you can enjoy your own vegetables throughout the season. fresh lettuce.

Sow lettuce: how and when to do it - When are lettuce harvested

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