Growing Your Own Organic Lettuce
Kinds of lettuce. There are several kinds of lettuce available in the market today. The most commonly sold varieties are as follows: iceberg, romaine, butterhead and mesculin mixes. Low in calories and rich in nutrients, these green leafy vegetables support pancreatic function. They are usually grown in the cool seasons of spring and autumn, which helps a lot because you would want to avoid the extreme weather conditions of summer and winter.
Where you should plant them. If you want your lettuce to grow healthy, make sure that you expose them to enough sunlight per day. About 6 hours of exposure would be sufficient since you don’t want your produce to wilt. So if there’s too much sun, make sure to have a shading equipment on hand. Also, when planting lettuce, choose fertile, loose soil enriched with compost.
How to start the seeds. You can purchase organic lettuce seeds from your local gardening shop. Begin starting seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Sow the seeds on a sterile starting mix and make sure you expose the plot to enough sunlight. Keep the soil cool at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can start transplanting the produce outdoors once the last frost date is over. Planting transplants is quite easy; just dig holes as deep as the rootball of the lettuce and twice as wide. Ensure that the plant’s crown is planted at soil level and that you pack the soil around the rootball. Create a 9 to 12 inches space between the transplanted lettuces.
Caring for your lettuce. Because lettuce is made mostly of water, it also needs a fair amount of moisture to grow. To check if your produce is getting enough moisture stick your finger into the top inch of the soil around the lettuce and make sure it is damp. Never let this layer dry out. You can buy organic fertilizer from your local gardening store to fertilize the soil depending on your needs, or you can use organic mulch to keep the moisture and nutrients of the soil. Another advantage of mulching is that it helps prevent soil from splashing on your lettuce when you water, a process which may inadvertently contaminate the plants.
Plan your planting succession. Because lettuce grows very fast, it is important to plan your planting succession about 7 to 21 days apart. The interval will of course depend on how much you can consume or sell at a time.