Friday, 5 October 2012

How to...... Grow Your Own Lettuce

Lettuce Love

Nothing beats walking into your garden and picking fresh veg to instantly make a beautiful salad! Growing lettuce is much easier than you might think, if you follow these little tips ! It takes between 40 and 80 days (depending on the type of lettuce) to grow from seed to salad, so start sowing for a late fall harvest!



Lettuce like cooler temperatures (between 40F and 60F). In warm
climates such as Malta, lettuce usually thrives until temperatures of
80F. Therefore you can either plant in late summer (for a fall harvest)
or early spring (for an early summer harvest).

Tilling the soil before sowing is recommended since lettuce seeds are
tiny and will thrive better in soft, weed-free soil.

Scattering of seeds should be done with around ten seeds per square
foot, and it’s usually best to plant them in rows – they look nice and are
also easier to maintain. After scattering, the seeds should be covered
with a thin layer of soil and watered immediately.

The first seedlings sprout in 7 to 10 days. After the first couple of weeks
(when lettuce plantlets are around 2 inches high) it’s best to thin them
out to allow around eight inches of space between each plant. 


Since lettuce have shallow roots, it’s important to keep the soil around
them moist but not soggy. Frequent, short watering periods will
produce a high-quality lettuce
be careful not to water the plant by wetting the leaves .. 
they get more susceptible to mould and can also be broken or turn spotted!

Looking after your lettuce

Slugs are more than happy to feast on succulent lettuce, so keeping this in mind, put up your defences before the massacre starts! Non-chemical strategies include surrounding plants with grit or protecting them with serrated rings cut from larger plastic bottles. Alternatively, you can try luring your enemies away from the plants by making a slug trap. Saw a plastic water bottle in two just below the neck. Invert the neck end, push it back into the other piece and fix with staples or tape. Fill this contraption with beer or a sweet drink and place it near your crop.


When the lettuce has reached its ideal size, remember to pick it as early as possible. The longer the leaves, the more bitter and tough it will be.

Make sure you start now before it gets too chilly, or wait until next spring, so that a couple of months later you will have an unlimited supply of fresh salad veg in your garden!

Adapted from SheKnows Home & Garden Site

1 comment:

  1. Love growing my own fruit and vegetables here in Birmingham. I have a plot at an allotments site in Birmingham...