This ultimate guide on how to grow a lettuce will help in you in growing and caring for lettuce plant in your garden. Get to know sunlight, watering, fertilizer, requirements of the lettuce plant.
Growing leafy vegetables in garden is not only easy but it is also beneficial for health. Unlike other vegetables like bottle gourd, bitter gourd, etc. leafy vegetables requires less space to grow. That’s why even if you are living in a small house, you can grow leafy vegetables.
Who can forget tasty, delicious and nutritional lettuce which is an annual plant. In your daily life you must have noticed lettuce in burgers, sandwiches, soups, etc. Well it is a perfect blend for all of them. And more than that lettuce is low in sugar and fat but high in vitamins, minerals, and iron.
Lettuce is also popular as quick salad crop as it gets ready to be harvested within few weeks after plantation. So if you are looking for a fast growing tasty and healthy leafy vegetable for your garden then growing lettuce can be a good choice.
But gardeners often face problem in growing plants successfully. Therefore I decided to share all my learnings and experience on growing plants on Agriculture Review. Keep reading till the last to learn growing lettuce in your garden.
How To Grow A Lettuce?
Where To Grow Lettuce?
Well this is one of the most important question if you are really interested in seeing lettuce to grow in your garden. Most gardeners often does this mistake of not recognizing planting zones of the plant. And this factor alone can upset you with plants.
Well don’t worry after reading this article you will get to know everything related to care for lettuce plant.
Lettuce can grow in USDA plant hardiness zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. It is a cool season crop that can grow well in temperate regions during spring and fall season. But you can also grow them in sub tropical regions during early spring and late fall season.
Lettuce plant loves loose, well drained soil that is rich in organic matter with soil pH around 6.0 to 7.0. If you do not have ideal potting mix then you can prepare with 40% garden soil + 20% cocopeat + 40% vermicompost.
In this mix you can also add one to two handful of neem cake fertilizer for better results. If the soil is too much clayey then prefer adding river sand instead of cocopeat.
Selection Of Pot
For lettuce you can select 8 to 10 inches sized pot with at least 2 to 4 drainage holes at the bottom. However you can also grow them in larger pots or directly in the ground soil according to space. However try to ensure planting distance of 8 to 12 inches between each plant.
How To Grow Lettuce From Seed?
You can grow lettuce from seed by direct sowing high quality disease resistant lettuce seeds from the market. You can either directly broadcast the seeds on the soil or sow them at desired distance and depth of 1/4 inches.
Cover with a thin layer of potting mix and apply water gently to maintain adequate moisture in the soil. Keep the pot in semi shade and keep watering whenever the top layer of soil seems dry.
Within 7 to 10 days you will notice growth of lettuce seedlings. You can thin out once your seedling reaches 3 to 4 true leaf stage. Start transplantation once it reaches 5 to 6 true leaf stage. Water immediately after transplantation to establish plant in the new pot.
Lettuce requires 5 to 6 hours of full to partial sunlight. So if you have problem of sunlight in your home then too you can grow lettuce. Even if there is zero sunlight inside your home then you can use grow lights for lettuce.
For growing lettuce keep the soil evenly moist but avoid waterlogging or soggy soil. Soggy or wet soil can harm your lettuce plant. Therefore make sure to have well drained potting mix with drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
I prefer watering when top layer of soil seems dry.
Lettuce plant needs moderate amount of fertilizers to grow and prosper. You can apply two to four handful of any bulky organic manure like vermicompost, leaf manure or vegetable peel compost once after every 20 days.
Along with this you can also add one handful of neem cake fertilizer or one table spoon tea leaf compost.
Avoid adding fertilizers that are very rich in potassium or phosphorus as they will promote flowering in the plant. To grow lettuce add nitrogen rich fertilizers.
Pests & Diseases
Lettuce crop can get affected from pests like slugs & snails, white flies, cutworms, rabbits, aphids, beetles, etc. You can use yellow sticky traps to control flying pests and can use jeevamrut or waste decomposer to avoid soil pests.
Diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spot, yellow spot, etc can also damage your lettuce plant.
Just like coriander you can harvest lettuce multiple times in a single growing season. Start harvesting once the plant grows up to 5 to 6 inches. The best time for harvesting is during early morning or evening. During this time the leaves remains fresh and crisp.
With the help of garden scissor or hand cut leafy portion and leave 1 inches portion from the base of the plant.
For storing lettuce, wrap them in a towel after harvesting and keep them in refrigerator. This will help in maintaining crispness of the harvested leaves.
I guess you are now clear on growing lettuce in your garden. If you have any queries, ideas, or suggestions then do comment below. Agriculture Review is always there to help you in growing plants. You can also connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Koo.