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How to grow lettuce in grow bag using seeds?
Lettuces are one of the most lovable , crunchy and tasty salad greens which has high nutrients, and less calories & Sugar. Lettuce is a great option and a quick crop variety for home vegetable garden for a beginner gardener.
There are four common varieties of lettuce.
- Ice Berg – Crisp head – which has crop cycle period 80 – 90 days.
- Butter head lettuce -will grow in 65 -80 days
- Loose Leaf – a quick crop lettuce variety that grows in 40-50 days.
- Romaine – grows in 80-85 days.
When to plant Lettuce
November to February is the suitable months to grow lettuce , as it likes to grow in cool weather condition. The temperature should be below 30 degree Celsius. The temperature level is the more important factor, you should not try to plant it in the months that have temperature more than 30 degree Celsius.
Potting Soil to plant lettuce
Lettice love to grow in loamy. well drained loose soil that contains equal parts of fertile soil and vermi -compost and also with natural home compost like vegetable wastes and dry leaves. The potting soil should have pH as 6-7 helps the plants growth.
How to grow lettuce from seed - the seed Germination of Lettuce
To prepare lettuce seedlings , sow 3-4 seeds per hole , if you are using a nursery tray or sprinkle the seeds directly into your container and cover with a thin layer of soil . Then water slightly just to moist the soil. The lettuce seeds will germinate with 7-10 days, and the ideal temperature for germination of lettuce is 20 degree Celsius. So, keep the nursery tray in a shady area to maintain the right temperature.
How to Grow lettuce using grow bags
Transplant the seedling to grow bags
After seed germination, allow the seedlings to grow with 3-4 tiny leaves and then transplant it to a container. You need not to transplant into a deep container, as the lettuce is a shallow rooted plant. You should leave sufficient space for the plants as per the variety of lettuce you plant. For larger variety romaine and iceberg lettuce, you need to keep 8-16 inches distance among each plant. The timing is also important for transplanting. You should not transplant the lettuce or any plant during the day time. Evening is the right time for transplantation. The plant will start grow after 4-5 days.
As the shallow root system of lettuce is not so deeper and the roots are very close to the soil, you should not leave the soil to dry at any time. The lettuce will have water stress, if it do not get sufficient water. Water twice a day in summer and in winter water as per the soil moisture level. You can mulch with dry leaves to keep the soil moist.
Sunlight for Lettuce
Lettuce is a cool crop variety that needs moderate sunlight for 6-8 hours. Do not place your plant in a sunny spot to avoid your lettuce plant to be exposed to hot mid day sunlight and also at the temperature more than 25 degree Celsius.
To avoid over crowded seedling , thin few lettuce plants to make sufficient space for growing other plants to grow well.
Fertilizer for Lettuce
You have to give organic fertilizers like home compost or manure or any slow release fertilizers after three weeks of planting.
Lettuce need pest control over the pests like grasshoppers, aphids, maggots, caterpillars, beetles, slugs , cut worms and snails. You can get ride of these problems, by spraying neem oil solution and planting barrier plants like garlic along with lettuce to drive away the pests.
How Long Does the lettuce take to grow
Though , lettuce is quick crop salad vegetable, the crop cycle differs according to the its variety. Iceberg is the long time crop variety that has crop cycle period as 80-90 days. Romaine variety is another little long crop having crop cycle of 80-85 days. . Loose leaf and butter head varieties are quick crop among these four, you can start harvest within 40 days.
When Harvest to Lettuce - Points to remember while harvest
You can harvest lettuce repeatedly for many times. New leaves regrow after cutting. You should remember some points to get repeated yields.
Harvest in the Morning
Cucumbers need moist as well as well drained soil. You can mix 50% of garden soil along with 40% of cow dung compost ,5% of bone meal powder and 5 % of neem oil cake powder. A mix of coco-peat and cow dung manure can also be used as a potting mix.
Harvest at the time of need
Do not harvest all the matured leaves all at a time. Whenever you need lettuce for your salad, you just go and cut the leaves. Lettuce leaves will loose its freshness and crunchiness even kept in fridge.
Harvest the outer leaves first & Allow the inner Leaves to grow
You should harvest the outer leaves first and allow the inner leaves to grow. Give a week time for the plant to be ready for next harvest.
Growing herbs and vegetables such as like lettuce, parsley, thyme, cucumber and tomato plants that too in pots and containers is an interesting one for the gardeners. Hope , the above tips are easy to follow and let you learn how to grow your salad green by yourself!