Growing Lettuce Plants

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa, Lactuca scariola)

Lettuce is an annual herbaceous plant, which belongs to the Asteraceae family. It is a leaf vegetable with very high nutritional value. It is very rich in Vitamin B and K, whilst it contains more Vitamin A than a carrot. Lettuce also boosts our iron and calcium levels.  Frequent consumption of lettuce is known to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia and plenty of other diseases.

Professional cultivation of Lettuce

In a nutshell, we start sowing indoors and transplant in the field or greenhouse, in most regions after the first frost. For the cultivation of 1 hectare, we need 28-31 oz. (800-900 grammars) of seed. We sow the seeds in seedbed/ pots at a depth of 0,17 inches (0,4-0,6 cm) and place them in a room with plenty of sunlight. We keep the soil moist. It is important to reserve the ground moist, but not to irrigate excessively, because our seeds will rot and will not germinate. We transplant the lettuce in the field after the last spring frost. We choose an area with well-drained soil free of stones and roots.

Lettuce plants want plenty of sun and thrive in soil abundant in nitrogen and rich in humus. We plant lettuce leaving a distance of 8-11 inches (20-30 cm.) between plants and 20-23 inches (50-60 cm.) between rows. In a field of 1 hectare, we transplant about 50.000 plants. Keep in mind to whisk lightly the soil around the roots so as to help the plants stay upright. We irrigate frequently. Three weeks after transplanting, we can add a fertilizer that can boost the plants’ development. We harvest 60 -90 days after sowing, when the leaves resemble those we buy from the grocery store. It is better to cut the lettuce in morning, because during the night the leaves develop a crispness. The average yield is 20-40 tons per hectare.

Do you have experience in cultivating lettuce? Please share your experience, methods and practices in the comments below.

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