Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Growing Your Own Lettuce

Interested in growing some organic lettuce?

Here's how to go about it:

There's 4 types of lettuce: Cos varieties, Butterheads, loose leaf and crisp heads. Iceberg, which is a crisphead is one of the most commonly available one here available here.

Step 1: Prepare a raised bed or crate or wide and atleast 1 foot container, and fill it with 40% fully washed cocopeat and 60% Sunrich organic manure (or fine compost). If you are not using cocopeat, instead using soil, make sure the soil is humus rich and free draining, ideally with ph 6.5. If you are planting right now, remember lettuce does not tolerate too much heat or rain, so best to provide it partial shade and shelter from rains when planting new plants/seeds.

Step 2: If you are growing from seed, make rows 12" apart, and sow the seed at 1/2 inch depth. If growing ready plug plants from trays, just sow them in rows 12" apart, keeping 4-6" distance between plants. Keep crow above soil, and water well.

Step 3: Lettuce like cool weather and lots of moisture. Water well everyday, and provide Sun Khanij Bhandar or any other micronutient as well as all purpose organic fertilizer. Do nothing more!

Step 4: Bolting is when lettuce starts producing long stalk like flowers.After flowering, the leaves will become rubbery and bitter, so you need to pick all leaves/head before this. 

In case of crisp head varieties like iceberg, harvest the head after 8 weeks of planting the plug plants, and for loose leaf varieties, start picking from the 6th week.

 Companion crops for lettuce are Dill, Garlic and Beetroot, which keep pests away and impart flavour to the leaves. Lettuce can be planted with cucumber, spring onions and broccoli. 

Lettuce plug plants are available from Sun Agrigenetics. Just call (0) 787 406 5060 to place an order.

No comments:

Post a Comment