Is it possible growing lettuce from seeds at home? There are lots of lettuces varieties that you can choose to grow in your garden. There are lettuces that you can grow easily, there are also lettuces that are highly productive though they’re planted in a limited space, and finally there are lettuces that are virtually free from disease and pests. If you want care free crops, go plant the lettuces.
If you want your lettuces to give you maximum production, you must pick the right soil for the lettuces to grow. Make sure that your garden soil can drain well while retaining some moisture that’s needed by your lettuces. Besides, make sure that your garden soil is rich in potassium and nitrogen. Prepare your garden to be ready for lettuces by adding lots of organic matter like leaf mold or rotted manure.
Learning About Lettuces before Growing Lettuce from Seeds
Do you know that organic matter like compost is going to help you loosen your garden soil and enrich it? Do your best to make your soil ready. Make sure that your soil’s pH is between 6.0 and 6.8. Many varieties of lettuce will mature in between 45 and 55 days. This allows you to plant two to three crops. However, there are butter-head and loose-leaf leaves are free to be harvested anytime.
Though you can harvest those varieties of growing lettuce from seeds, you need to make sure that they’re all developed. The varieties called heading even takes longer days to rich maturity. And the romaine variety even requires 75 days to 85 days before they can be harvested. You must wait for 70 days to 100 days before you can harvest the crisp-head variety of lettuces.
Before growing lettuce from seeds, learn these awesome tips for successful harvest.
1. Using the raised beds
Planting your lettuce seeds in the raised beds is going to maximize the production of your lettuces. Compared to the ground around your raised beds, the raised beds will warm up much faster. By using raised beds, you must be able to start growing lettuce from seeds in early spring then crop your lettuces in the autumn.
2. Adding living mulch to help growing lettuce from seeds
In order to use the entire spaces of your limited garden, you need to plant your lettuces around some taller plants such as eggplants, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Your lettuces will help their neighbor by making surrounding soil stay cool and moist. Lettuces are also able to keep the soil free from weeds. When taller plants get bigger, they offer shade that lettuces need.
3. Growing lettuce from seeds by tucking your lettuce seedlings
If you want to grow something else in the garden, you can always start the lettuce seedlings inside your house. Just tuck your lettuce seedlings in spots that are vacant. This is going to keep your garden spaces producing other crops constantly.
4. Growing lettuce from seeds for ornamental use
Lettuces also have beautiful varieties that will make your space looks more beautiful. Consider planting sweet red, sierra blush, and mighty red oak. Those lettuces are going to fill your flowerbeds’ gaps while adding red splashes anywhere you plant them. So, are you going to plant the ones you can eat or the ones that makes your space looks more adorable?
Two Cultivations to Grow Your Lettuces Productively
Lettuces can be grown in two cultivation options. Here are them.
1. Succession plantings
Lettuce and successful planting is the best combination. You need to sow your seeds once per two weeks in order to produce the lettuces throughout the year. You better start planting with the early varieties of lettuce. Then use varieties that are tolerant to heat as the main crop. Now in late summer, switch to the fall crops. You can also use lettuce with the other crops in successions.
For example, you can start growing lettuce from seeds during the spring. Then when the summer comes, plant bush beans before the autumn. When autumn comes, you can start growing lettuces again.
2. Watering the lettuces
One crucial key to produce good lettuces is by supplying almost constant but moderate water. This is especially important especially when the weather is hot. Your lettuces should be watered once every week. Deeply water your lettuces unless there will be regular rainfall. During drought periods, you must water your lettuces more often or else they’ll die.
Mulching your lettuces with clean straw or compost layer is going to help your soil to stay moisture. It is good if you can provide drip irrigation system which is really ideal for growing lettuce from seeds.
Growing Lettuce from Seeds and Facing Lettuce Problems
When you decide to grow lettuces, you must be ready to anticipate lettuce diseases and insects. Actually, lettuce generally is pest free and disease free. However, we all have to be vigilant in order to protect our lettuces so that we can enjoy them later. Here are some problems your lettuces might face in the future.
1. Slugs and cutworms
Those are pests that are most bothersome for lettuces. Use the paper collar right around the seedlings of your young lettuce. This is going to keep all ravenous caterpillars away. It is harder to control the slugs. Try sprinkling diatomaceous earth or wood ashes over your soil around your lettuces. This is going to discourage nasty mollusks. Reapply the formula after every rainfall.
2. Lettuce rot
This is actually lettuce’s major threat. This trouble attacks lettuces’ lower leaves first. This ruins the leaves that have contact with soil. Then it is going to spread throughout your lettuces. In order to prevent the bacterial and fungal diseases, you need to rotate the crops. Avoid planting lettuces in same bed for two years. Rotate them with some other crops.
Your lettuces can grow easily. You can start growing lettuce from seeds indoors then continue with early transplants. Or you can sow them directly in your garden. Doing both ways to plant lettuces is highly recommended in order to get the maximum production.
Steps to Start Growing Your Lettuces
When you start planting the lettuces, you need to follow these steps really carefully.
- Start the lettuce seeds inside your house using peat posts. Do this several weeks before last frosting dates.
- Provide your seedlings with lots of sunlight. Or you can keep your seedlings under the artificial lighting. Your seedlings need warmth until they become ready to be moved into your garden.
- Transplant your lettuce seedlings when your soil lets you work on it during the spring. If the hard freeze is threatening your plants, protect your seedlings with row cover of cloche. Reserve some lettuce seedlings in order to fill the empty spaces in your garden once the season starts progressing.
If you’re about to plant your lettuces directly in your garden, here are steps to follow.
- Sow your lettuces by planting the seeds in your garden with the depth about ¼ inches. Then tamp your seeds down before watering them. That’s it.
- Space your sowings depend on the directions you find on the packet. Those directions are all based on mature lettuces’ size. If you plant them too close to each other, the mature lettuces won’t grow maximally. Crisp-head lettuces might require one square foot in your garden space while the small leaf variety of lettuces can grow in same garden space.
- Remember that your lettuce seed cannot germinate if the soil temperature is more than 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s why you shouldn’t plant them in your garden during summer. Start by using lettuce varieties that are tolerant to heat inside your house. Then move your lettuce seedlings in your garden. Make sure your lettuces get partial shade.
Harvesting Lettuces after Successfully Growing Lettuce from Seeds
You can harvest your lettuces anytime once the true leaves are formed. To get best quality of your lettuces, pick them earlier instead of late. If you grow your lettuces too long, they will be tough and bitter. There are rules to follow in order to harvest your lettuces. Here they are.
1. Harvesting specific varieties
When you’re about to harvest romaine lettuce, Batavia lettuce, and crisp-head lettuce, you need to cut your mature plants right at your plants’ soil line. This is going to give you full heads of lettuces. You can also harvest loose-leaf lettuce and butter-head lettuce in the same way. But it is better to harvest these varieties only on their outer leaves.
Doing the second option above is going to keep your lettuce plants in longer production. Always harvest your lettuces in morning; it is the best time when your lettuces’ leaves are moist, sweet, and crisp.
2. Best time to harvest the lettuces after growing lettuce from seeds
Are your lettuce plants ready to be harvested? Check on your lettuce plants’ crown. When it elongates, your plants will start producing seeds. It also means that your lettuce plants already passed their prime. If it happens, you need to yank your lettuce out then toss it on your compost pile. Replant your garden space with some other crops like other lettuce seedlings or bush beans.
Storing and Cooking Your Lettuces
1. Storing your lettuces
Major part of your lettuces is water. That’s why your lettuces cannot store well. To enjoy your lettuces in best flavor and quality, you need to enjoy your homegrown lettuces immediately after you growing lettuce from seeds and harvesting them. Varieties that can wilt easily like loose-leaf lettuces required you to enjoy them immediately.
2. Cooking your lettuces
Cooking? Lettuces are actually best served as salad. When making salads, you need to combine the lettuces that are crunchy and crisp with lettuces that are buttery smooth and soft. For example, combine mighty red oak lettuce and little Caesar lettuce with crispy frills. This is going to give you salad that has variety of textures, colors, and shapes.
Growing Lettuce from Seeds in Assorted Varieties
Planning to plant lettuces because your love salads? There are lots of lettuce varieties that help you enjoying tasty salads. Here are some of them.
1. Lollo Rosso Lettuce
This one is Italian variety lettuce that has dark pink colored ruffled leaves with green colored base. Sometimes this lettuce is also spelled femininely as Lolla Rossa. The leaves of this lettuce variety is randomly arranged, coated in light misting, and has jagged manner. If you live in cooler area, this lettuce is the best option. Pick this one if you’re new in growing lettuces.
2. Grand Rapids Lettuce
Grand Rapids lettuce is the classic green lettuce used in salads. If you want growing lettuce from seeds that’s something more traditional, this lettuce is for you. The leaves of this lettuce have frilly edges. This lettuce is tender, crisp, and resistant to the tip burn.
3. Oak Leaf Lettuce
Since you’re growing lettuce from seeds, this oak leaf lettuce will only need 40 days to reach its maturity. This oak leaf lettuce also has light green colored leaves that the edges are arranged without order and rough. This one has pale green leaves that are tender. You’ll want this lettuce in your salads.
4. Black Seeded Simpson
Another option in growing lettuce from seeds is planting the black seeded Simpson lettuce that’s perfect for beginners. It is really easy to grow. It can also tolerate more sunshine compared to other varieties of lettuce. This variety will reach maturity very quickly. When it is mature, the black seeded Simpson lettuce will have bright green colored leaves that have rough edges.
No matter which variety of lettuce you’re about to grow in your garden, you need to watch the tips about growing lettuce from seeds above. Everything you need to understand about choosing growing, maintaining, harvesting, and storing the lettuces can be found in this page. Therefore, you can
You don’t want to start planting the lettuces without studying the best steps that will help you harvesting good lettuces. Luckily, you just got all details that lead you to the best lettuces – whether the ones you’re about to eat or the ones you’re going to display.