Learn how to grow lettuce and have access to great tasting lettuce for your salads. Also, learn how to create an abundance of lettuce seeds for the next growing season. And successfully growing lettuce can be made easier with certain lettuce varieties.
Planting lettuce in a container enables you to grow lettuce on your deck or patio. This is one way of how to grow lettuce that almost anyone will be able to accomplish.
There are many lettuce varieties to try and knowing which ones are more tolerant to heat will ensure greater success in warmer climates or during the summer months. Learn how to grow lettuce and harvest an abundant supply of lettuce seeds each year to share with your friends and family.
Growing lettuce is easy as long as you meet its basic growing requirements. Lettuce in general are cool weather plants and the easiest time to grow lettuce is in the early spring or fall.
However, certain lettuce varieties will grow better than others in the summer as long as you can find a way to shade your plants to extend lettuce production in the hot summer months.
You can plant seeds as soon as the ground is no longer frozen. Lettuce seeds can germinate in moderate to cool temperatures with a soil temperature of approx. 70 degrees F.
Lettuce also prefers the soil to be moist at all times. However, plants grown in really soggy soil will be susceptible to disease or mold, so frequent short waterings may be best for your lettuce.
Lettuce will not do well with weeds or garden pests such as slugs. One option is growing lettuce in containers up off the ground and locate them on porches, patios, or even window sills.
This is a great idea for people that do not have a lot of land or prefer easier access to their food supply.
You can also start by planting lettuce seeds indoors several weeks prior to the last frost in your area and then move them outdoors when it gets warmer.
There are hundreds of lettuce varieties, but for the sake of simplicity - lettuce can be categorized as either loose leaf or head lettuce.
Loose leaf lettuce does not form a tight head or ball like head lettuce. Leaf lettuce is also the easiest to grow and can be used as a "Cut and Come Again" type of lettuce.
These are a few of the more popular and well known lettuce varieties, but also give one of the less known varieties a try every now and then.
How to grow lettuce throughout the growing season is probably best done by planting leaf lettuce as it grows very quickly, so you can plant it throughout the season and be harvesting lettuce continuously throughout the year.
Leaf lettuce can mature in as soon as 6 weeks and are considered "Cut and Come Again" plants.
Therefore, you can harvest leaf lettuce by snipping off the outer leaves as soon as they are large enough for eating or you can take the whole plant by cutting off at about 1 inch above ground level - then let it regrow.
Leaf lettuce can be harvested over a longer period of time when compared to harvesting head lettuce which basically requires you to pull the entire plant from the soil when the heads have reached full size.
Just remember that overly ripened leaf lettuce is not really edible because they have a tendency to get tough and bitter. Also, remember to harvest lettuce early in the morning when the leaves are firmer.
You can then store lettuce leaves in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for a week or two.
You can harvest lettuce seeds any time after the flowers die back and then resemble a dandelion.
Just pick or cut off from the stalk and separate seeds from any debris. Make sure the seeds are completely dry and then store them in a cool dry area until you are ready for planting lettuce again.
Learning how to grow lettuce can be a great pleasure and by growing your own food, you control the quality of your food. As the saying goes - You are What you Eat!