Thursday, December 10, 2009
Lettuce’s Botanical Name : Latuca sativa
Lettuce germinates readily, sometime within one to two days. Exposing the seed to light before planting stimulates germination. The small seeds can be scattered on the surface of the soil, either in a seed tray or bed. A light covering of soil is required.
Once the seedlings are about eight centimetres tall they can be transplanted to where you want them to grow. If growing in situ, you can thin the seedlings.
It is an ideal all year round crop. Lettuce prefers to grow in a semi-shaded position in the summer, as it tends to bolt in the very hot summer conditions.
The term “bolt” means that the lettuce starts to become elongated and send out a stem on which to produce flowers as you can see on the red lettuce above. It will then start to produce seed, which can be harvested, especially if you have a particular kind of lettuce that you would like to grow again in the next season.
Growing organic lettuce is sometimes challenging, as there are a lot of nunu’s around that like to chomp of the soft tasty leaves. Use companion Planting to reduce the bugs.
Companions of Lettuce
Lettuce likes to grow with cucumber, strawberry, carrot, dill, turnip, cabbage, beetroot and radish. Onions and garlic help to keep the insects away. Wood ash sprinkled nearby is also helpful for this purpose.
If you have lots of nettles in your garden, a good mulch of nettle will keep your lettuce healthy.
Nutritional Value of Lettuce
Lettuce is packed with vitamins A, B and C. It also contains calcium. A naturally grown lettuce, is best consumed within 20 minutes of picking.