Name: lettuce, cos lettuce, head lettuce, loose-leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, romaine, Lettuce sativa
Foliage:annual plants with green or red foliage
Climate: all climates and areas. Protect from heavy frost.
Soil:plant in a soil enriched with compost and decomposed manure. An alkaline pH is preferable to acidic soils.
Position: prefers part shade, but will grow in full sun in autumn and winter.
Feeding: not required if soil is improved prior to planting.
Watering:regular watering is required, especially in dry or hot conditions. Do not allow to dry out, but do not overwater in humid environments.
Lettuces are varied in their leaf type, colour, shape and form, but all have similar growing conditions and requirements. Red leaf lettuces are usually a little more bitter than green leaf types, which makes them perfect for spicing up salads.
Head lettuce, like iceberg, is harvested all at once as soon as it reaches adequate size.
Loose-leaf lettuce is harvested as individual leaves reach maturity, helping to extend their season and harvest.
Cos lettuces, also known as romaine, can be harvested as a head, or as individual leaves as required.
Lettuce is a very easy crop to grow. Simply plant and water as required. Harvest when needed and keep sowing or planting fortnightly to extend your harvest and to ensure you have ample lettuce all year round. For cool-season crops, sow and grow in part shade during the warmer months and harvest quickly to prevent lettuce becoming tough or bitter.
Lettuce has a shallow root system. Mulch to conserve soil moisture and water regularly to prevent soil drying out, which can cause lettuce to bolt (run to flower), or worse, become bitter.
A soil enriched with compost and manure prior to planting is usually sufficient, but applications of seaweed solution during the seedling stage can increase root development, and tolerance to soil moisture fluctuations.
Snails and slugs are a constant problem for lettuce crops. Protect with snail and slug pellets, traps or a ring of Diatomaceous Earth.
Lettuce is propagated by seed. When plants “bolt” this means that they are becoming tall and leggy, pushing up flower heads and producing seed. Each individual plant will produce an abundance of lettuce seed.
Rocket: a spicy loose-leaf type lettuce with great flavour.
Spinach: a versatile green popular in salads, smoothies and as a side dish when lightly steamed.
Check out our huge range of plants now and get your garden growing!
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