Growing Lettuce at Home
Lettuce purchased at grocery stores is rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, but home-grown lettuce tastes much better.
Lettuce is a rapid salad crop plant that is usually harvested within a few weeks of planting the first seed. It is one of the few vegetables that can be grown in a container as easily as on the ground.
This article describes the basic requirements and care tips for growing lettuce at home in India. Let’s start with a few points to consider when growing lettuce at home.
- Season: February-April; September November
- Germination temperature: 7 ° C 27 ° C
- Sunlight: First 2 weeks 56 hours;
- 3 weeks later: 8 hours;
- Winter: 67 hours
- Container types: Clay, wood, terracotta, wheelbarrows, discarded barrels, flower boxes
- Soil: loam, well-drained, loose soil
- Water: twice a day in summer. Winter as needed
- Pest: larvae, insects, aphids, maggots, beetles, etc.
- Diseases such as powdery mildew, leaf spots, rot, and yellow spots.
- Fellow plants: thyme, oregano, basil, tomatoes, pepper, broccoli, cabbage
- Types of lettuce: Iceberg, Romaine, Lollo Red
Planting lettuce indoors
- Select the type of lettuce that thrives indoors. Most lettuce plants can stay healthy indoors, but some will be more successful than others. Buy one of these types of lettuce, known to grow well indoors, from a gardening center or nursery.
- Baby Oakleaf
- Salad Bowl
- Lollo Rosa
- Black-Seeded Simpson
- Tom Thumb
- Red Deer Tongue
- Place the seed starter mixture in the pot. The seed starter mix is lightweight, helps the roots of the plant grow, and drains well to avoid over-watering. If you can’t find the seed mix in the first place, you can also make an equal amount of peat moss or coconut, vermiculite, and sand to make the soil.
Each lettuce plant requires a space of 10-15 cm and a depth of about 20 cm. choose a pot that can accommodate these dimensions.
- Pot with a drain hole on the bottom. Place the saucer under the pot to catch the drainage.
- You can buy a mixture of seeds and soil at most gardening centres or gardening centres.
- Seeds are planted about 1 inch apart. Dig a hole 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) deep and place the seeds about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Limit the seeds to 4 per pot so that the lettuce does not become overcrowded as it grows. If you plan to plant more than 4 seeds, please prepare some pots in advance.
- Lightly sprinkle potting soil and water on the seeds. Take a handful of compost and carefully sprinkle on the newly planted seeds. Fill the spray bottle with water and spray carefully to prevent the seeds from being washed away.
- If you don’t want to wait for the seeds to sprout, plant lettuce seedlings. If you don’t want to wait for the seeds to sprout, you can plant lettuce seedlings instead. Plant 4 or less per pot using the same technique as lettuce seedlings. You can buy lettuce seedlings at many gardening centres and gardening centres.
Caring for Indoor Lettuce Plants
- Spray the seeds daily until the seedlings sprout. Give your lettuce at least an inch of water a week when they sprout. Stick your finger into the soil once or twice a day, and when the soil dries, water the lettuce.
- The soil should be moist, but not soaked.
- Another way to test the moisture content of the soil is to raise the pot. If it feels heavy, the soil is saturated with water.
- Lettuce is grown at room temperature. Lettuce grows best at temperatures around 18-21 ° C. Turn on heating and cooling as needed to keep the plant at a uniform and sustained temperature.
- When the outside weather is warm enough or cool enough, you can take your plants out regularly for fresh air.
- Place the lettuce near a sunny window or fluorescent light. Lettuce plants grow best in direct sunlight. If you are in a climate with little sun, buy plant light from the nursery and place it about 30 cm above your head.
- Lettuce plants require a minimum of 12 hours of direct sunlight per day, a preferred amount of 1416 hours.
- Keep in mind that plants grown under glow lamps generally take longer in light than in natural sunlight. When using glow lights, aim for 1416 hours instead of 12 hours or more.
- When the leaves are dead, water the lettuce. Lettuce visibly withers when you are thirsty. If the leaves of the plant are hanging, water the lettuce until the soil is moist, but it will not get soaked or soaked.
- The higher the temperature, the more water you need to water the salad.
- Fertilize the lettuce 3 weeks after planting. Lettuce requires nitrogen-rich soil to grow, so spray liquid fertilizer on the plant 3 weeks after planting, or when the first leaves are growing on the plant. Spray fertilizer almost near the ground and avoid lettuce leaves from burning.
- Use liquid fertilizer. Granular fertilizers need to be mixed with the soil.
- Both organic alfalfa and nitrogen-rich sustained release fertilizers work well with lettuce.
- Emulsified fertilizers of fish and algae can also be used, but they can give off a strong odour and are not recommended for indoor lettuce plants.
Harvesting Lettuce Plants
- Start harvesting lettuce 3045 days after planting. It takes about 3045 days on average from sowing to maturity. Make a note on the calendar that the harvest will start in about 30 days.
- Indoor lettuce plants grow and mature continuously, allowing them to continue harvesting after the initial harvest.
- Ripe indoor lettuce is typically about 4 inches (10 cm) high.
- See How to Harvest Romaine Lettuce for specific instructions on this type of salad.
- Choose lettuce in the morning. Morning is the time when your plants are the moistest and strongest. If possible, harvest the plants late in the morning or early in the afternoon for a healthier harvest.
- If you cannot harvest in the morning, avoid late afternoon when the plants are the least moist.
- Cut the outer leaves. Do not harvest indoor lettuce plants at once. As long as you are indebted, you can harvest for several months. Cut 34 outer leaves at a time with pruning scissors or scissors to allow the remaining plants to heal and grow later.
- Avoid picking the crown or center of the salad. To increase the overall yield, limit to the outer leaves.
- Lettuce cools 58 days after harvest. Depending on the type, lettuce can be stored in the refrigerator for 310 days. From putting the lettuce in the refrigerator to the expiration date, check the shelf life of each variety and plan its use.
- If you think you will not run out of lettuce within 58 days, wait a few days before harvesting the plants.
- Harvest the lettuce again after about 2 weeks. It takes about two weeks for your plant to heal and produce more leaves before your plant is ready to be harvested again. After the first harvest, wait two weeks between harvests so that the plant stays healthy and produces more leaves.
- After harvesting, it may take some time to grow stronger Wait at least 2 weeks before harvesting young plants.
- Sow additional seeds every two weeks to prolong the harvest.