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How to Grow Lettuce: Making the Most of Each Crop

If you want to grow your own lettuce, there are many different types to choose from, all of which are easy to grow and are considered highly productive in very limited space. How to grow lettuce properly requires the use of plenty of organic compost, which will work to enrich and loosen up the soil. Lettuce typically thrives best in soil that has a pH of around 6 to 6.8, so be sure to test your soil before planting.

How to Grow Lettuce indoors and in the Garden

The majority of lettuce varieties will take about four to six weeks to grow. This means you can plan on three harvests a year, if desired. Certain types of lettuce such as looseleaf, can be harvested at any time during the development. Other varieties, such as Romaine, can take significantly longer to mature, with a timeframe that ranges from seventy to a hundred days.

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Because how to grow lettuce is so easy, you can even start your plants indoors for early transplants. Start some seeds indoors, using peat pots, three to four weeks before the last frost. The seedlings will needs plenty of light, in order to grow properly. The seedlings will need to be transplanted in the garden as soon as the soil can be worked in the early Spring. In the event of a hard freeze you can protect the seedlings using a row cover, which can be found at your local home and garden store.

If you have decided to sow lettuce directly in the garden, the lettuce seeds should be planted about half an inch deep and tamped down. Water afterwards. Space the rows according to the seed packet instructions. This spacing will be based on the size of mature lettuce heads.

Lettuce will need an almost constant flow of water, especially once the weather reaches higher than ninety degrees. Water deeply twice a week and more frequently if it hasn’t rained in more than three weeks.

Another important aspect of learning how to grow lettuce involves protecting the soil in order to keep moisture locked in. You can use clean straw or an organic compost. If you prefer compost, you’ll need to work on a compost pile at least a month prior to planting. Another option is installing a drip irrigation system.

Helpful Tips that can Boost Your Lettuce Production

Have you ever heard of living mulch? If you’re short on space there are several innovative gardening ideas that can allow you to make the most of any garden size. To use a living mulch in a veggie garden plant the lettuce around taller veggie plants, such as Brussels sprouts, peppers or eggplant. The lettuce will help your garden by surrounding the neighboring plants, keeping the soil cool and moist, while also working to prevent weeds.

Planting lettuce in a raised bed is one of the best ways to boost your lettuce production. Using a raised bed will allow you to plant your seeds or seedlings sooner because the soil in a raised bed will heat up faster and stay hot longer. This way, you can begin your planting season two to three weeks early.  You can also plant more crops, which will remain safe and healthy even in late Fall.