Grow lettuce: instructions onlettuce cultivationin the garden or in pots. Varieties of lettuce and useful tips for a bountiful harvest.
When to grow lettuce
The month of September marks the end of many vegetables that have enriched the tables throughout the summer ... and now we just have to make room for new seasonal vegetables, this is the case of lettuce!
Those who cultivate the vegetable garden will be able to prepare the ground to welcome new vegetables: the month of September is the right time to sow some varieties of salad including lettuce in autumn-winter harvest. Among the varieties of lettuce most common we find the Romaine lettuce, the cutting one and the head lettuce.
Let's see in detail how to grow lettuce and the most suitable varieties for garden cultivation.
Varieties of lettuce to grow
There are a large number of lettuce varieties that suit certain seasons, hence theperiodgood for planting is not just September. In September, autumn-winter varieties are sown and planted, but there is no lack of varieties that grow well in the heat. For fall and winter lettuce, the varieties to choose are:
- Autumn head lettuce
- Winter head lettuce
- A winter wonder
- Black-seeded Trocadero
- Trocadero the favorite
- Wonder of the 4 seasons
How to grow lettuce
There lettuce cultivation it does not require special knowledge, it will be sufficient to respect some useful factors to guarantee the optimal development of the plant.
The climate is of fundamental importance: the tufts grow rapidly with a climate between 15 and 25 ° C. Below 10 ° C development slows down considerably and lettuce needs protection such as tunnel greenhouses and non-woven fabric.
Who wants growing lettuce on the balconyyou can follow our guide dedicated to the cultivation of lettuce in pots.
Lettuce seeds or seedlings to be planted can be purchased at a garden center or specialized shop.
Grow lettuce starting from the seed
For the planting of the seeds, a seedbed consisting of soil mixed with peat is required. The ideal would be to grow the seeds in a honeycomb container, even better if placed in a small apartment greenhouse.
To produce a few seedlings, 5 cm high alveolated containers with 12 alveoli or more alveoli are sufficient, according to the cultivation needs.
The alveolate containers are very economical and allow for shorter and safer germination times.
- Proceed to sowing in a honeycomb container.
- Use soft soil for sowing.
- Place two seeds in each alveolus, cover them with a layer of soil equal to their thickness (therefore a minimum quantity of soil).
- Irrigate very gently and sparingly.
To help germination, repair the containers with a veil of non-woven fabric. If you are lucky, two seedlings will germinate for each alveolus, so choose the sturdiest seedling and sacrifice the thinner one.
Cultivation of lettuce: planting
- From sowing to planting, generally, you have to wait 20 - 30 days: enough time for the seeds to germinate and reach a certain size. You can skip this step by purchasing already developed seedlings directly, the start-up price of cultivation, however, will be higher.
- Before planting it will be necessary to prepare the garden by working the soil deeply with a spade and applying organic compost as fertilizer.
- A distance of 30 is required between one plant and another, taking care to leave at least one third of the cube out of the ground
- The average duration of cultivation ranges from 4 to 6 weeks.
Attention: we have already mentioned that lettuce cannot stand the harsh cold, not even the winter and autumn ones. To prevent damage from frost, it will be necessary to protect the lettuce seedlings by applying a breathable sheet of non-woven fabric: this will prevent the seedlings from being burned by the cold. Those who live in central and northern Italy will necessarily have to use a tunnel greenhouse.
Then you just have to take care of it, watering the plants in case of scarcity of rain. Avoid water stagnation which can compromise the development of the vegetable.
Unfortunately, the garden is not free from unexpected events and it can happen that the lettuce can be attacked by plant pests and diseases. In case of aphids, garden fly and grillotalpa: you will have to intervene with specific treatments.
You can then collect the lettuce cutting at the base with the help of a knife, possibly acting early in the morning.