Growing lettuce is fairly easy in the home garden and lettuce is one of the most popular salad vegetables to grow from seed or seedling. With so many different varieties of lettuces available it is easy to have fresh lettuce leaf available for most of the year. Lettuces can be grown in the ground, or try growing lettuces hydroponically.Lettuce is easily grown from seeds or seedlings.
For the home garden we suggest Leaf Lettuces, Cos or Butterheads. Crispheads tend to bolt and go to seed. And you can pick the other types a leaf at time. We have found that the wet pot system is great for growing lettuce and other salad greens.
Growing lettuce is not difficult, you need cool conditions and plenty of water. The main types of lettuce are Cos (romaine), Cos is a tall lettuce, the head is fairly tight and has lots of flavour, Crispheads are the lettuce of supermarkets the iceberg being the most common. Leaf Lettuces are the ones we like for home growing, they mature quickly and types such as the Oakleaf lettuce can be picked bit by bit.
Butterheads are smaller than others and have looser and more tender leaves compared to a crisphead. Lettuce seed can be sown in punnets in a greenhouse or cold frame and then transplanted, or you can sow directly.
Although you can start from seed and plant out, we tend to buy seedlings. You do need a good humus rich moist soil, sun in the morning and in the afternoon a little shade especially as summer comes around.
Remember to thin lettuce out to give the lettuces room to grow. Leaf lettuce is picked by removing outer leaves as you need them, You can do the same with Cos lettuce (romaine) and Butterhead lettuce, or you can cut at the base or remove completely.
Criphead lettuces are picked by cutting at the base or removing. If you cut at the base you may get a second flush. Remember, an over mature lettuce is a tough one, so pick when young and fresh, stagger your sowings and consider growing lettuces using a wet pot system.
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