Vegetable Garden - Tips on Growing Lettuce From Seed
Some people are not excited about growing lettuce, however they should take a look at a garden full of today’s vibrant cultivars or taste a salad made from the most flavorful varieties. Some of the favorite lettuce include leaf, oak leaf, romaine’s, butter heads and bibs. Grow a good selection of lettuce and your salads will taste better than you ever imagined. The secret for the sweetest lettuce is to keep it growing fast.
Lettuce is a good crop for succession planting. To have a continuous supply of lettuce over the season, make plantings every 10 days to 2 weeks. As the weather warms, grow varieties that tolerate hot weather and resist bolting, such as crisp-head varieties.
Lettuce can grow from seed to salad in about 1 month in many regions, and only a little longer in others. The key to tender and tasty lettuce is rapid growth, however lettuce has a relatively shallow and compact root system that doesn't absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil very efficiently, which can slow the growth. So to encourage fast growth, add plenty of finished compost before planting and again as a side-dressing a week or so after seedlings appear or transplants are planted.
Give supplemental feedings of compost tea every few weeks until harvest. Gather outer leaves with all except iceburg types, as soon as they are big enough for the salad bowl. The harvest is over when a central stem starts to form. This is the signal that the plant is getting ready to bolt, then the leaves will be bitter.
Avoid following radicchio, endive, escarole or artichoke. Good Companions: Everything, but especially carrot, garlic, onion, and radish. Bad Companions: None
USDA Hardiness Zone -First Frost Date- Last Frost Date