Growing Lettuce

Latest Update 27th August 2017.

Lettuce
  • Red Iceberg Lettuce are fast growing and compact.  They have a crisp texture and taste great.  
  • I have found them easy to grow all year round in our climate, although they need protection from the sun to stop them bolting in summer.
  • They benefit from the protection of pest exclusion netting in the warmer months especially to keep butterfles away.
  • I use a mulch of clean straw to protect lettuce leaves from bottom rot, which is usually caused by direct contact with moist soil.
  • Like most organically grown vegetables, lettuce is rich in vitamins, minerals and is a great source of dietary fibre.
  • After I rotate my Ecobed crops in autumn, I grow several successive rows of lettuce in the brassica bed.  Later in the season, because it is such a fast grower, I use it as a catch crop growing it in any available space in any bed.
  • We always eat it fresh from the garden on salads, in sandwiches and in wraps.
Details.
  • Binomial Name:                                        Lactuca sativa.
  • Family:                                                    Asteraceae.
  • Variety:                                                    Red Iceberg.
  • Crop rotation group:                                  Legumes.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Recommended soil pH:                             6.0 - 7.0.
  • Minimum sun per day:                              4 hours.
  • Plant spacings:                                       300 mm.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                     8 - 12 weeks.
  • Good companions:                                   Carrot. onion. beetroot. cabbage. marigold.
  • Climate:                                                   Warm temperate. 
  • Geography:                                              Southern hemisphere.
Nutrition. 
  • This food is low in sodium, and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 
  • It is a good source of thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and manganese.
  • More from nutrition data.self.com.
Maintaining Ecobed Productivity. 
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I maintain productivity in my Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves.
Propagating Seedlings. 
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how I propagate seeds.
Propagation Plan.
  • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds. 
Growing Instructions.
  • Sow 5 lettuce seeds each month in an EcoPropagator and once the seedlings are established and growing strongly, transplant them in their fibre pots into the prepared bed.  This eliminates transplant shock and hardens them off naturally in the Ecobed's welcoming soil.
  • Clear a small space in the mulch for each pot and bury them up to their rims at 300mm centres in a 1500mm long row.  Water them in sparingly with dilute seaweed extract (suppliers dilution rate).
Harvesting and Storage.
  • Lettuce can be harvested all year round. 
  • When harvesting, cut the heads off the Lettuce at ground level and allow the roots to decompose in the soil.
  • Lettuce does not store well and should be eaten within a few days of harvest.
Organic Pest Control.