Lettuce is easy to grow, you spend less money growing your own instead of buying from overpriced supermarkets. You will also gain a certain satisfaction, from growing your own crop. Lettuce can be harvested nearly all year round if you know when, and what to plant. In this article, we will share the best way to grow lettuce, the nutrients, and the health benefits you gain from eating lettuce.
Varieties Of Lettuce
There are many lettuce varieties from which to choose, but they are distinctly categorised into five different varieties. ‘Green Leaf’, ‘Red Lead’- ‘Cos or Romaine’, ‘Heading or Crisphead’, ‘Stem or Asparagus’, they all have different tastes, shapes, colour, resistance, and harvest dates. Here are some recommended varieties to grow- ‘Ithaca Iceberg’, ‘Coastline Summer Crisp’, ‘Summer Bibb Butterhead’, and ‘Parris Island Romaine.
How To Grow Lettuce
Sow lettuce seed indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost in spring, move the plant outdoors when they are about 3-4 inches tall. Directly sow lettuce outdoors 3-4 weeks before the last frost, but the temperature has to be at least 0°C even tho lettuce can tolerate temperatures as low as -6°C. To get a stable supply of lettuce, sow seed every 2 weeks from March through to September. If you have very limited time, space, or effort you can always buy lettuce plants from most garden centers.
Sow lettuce 1cm deep into big pots, beds, or in rows on the ground. Space according to what you’re growing our lettuce in, if your growing in a container plant one head. If growing in the ground, and garden beds, plant as many as you want but plant 6-8 inches apart.
Grow your lettuce in well-worked, well-drained soil, some rotted manure, or fertile compost. Make sure you grow your lettuce in full sun or partial shade, some can tolerate less sun depending on the variety, and the time planted. Water regularly, and try to keep the soil moist at all times, not wet or water clogged. Fertilisers are optional, but if you want the best results, apply some general-purpose fertiliser e.g. blood, fish, and bone meal.
Harvest heads when firm, and mature, cut heads at the crown of soil level. For loose-leaf varieties, pick the outer leaves, gradually working your way to the center, allowing the inner to remain developing.
Nurients And Health Benefits
Lettuce is not only delicious they are rich in nutrients. They contain vitamins- C, K, A, and B-9. Minerals- Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Some varieties contain more, for example, red leaf lettuce, containing vitamins B-6, B-1, -2, C, K, and A. Minerals Magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron. Either way, all lettuce is extremely healthy.
Lettuce is very hydrating, as 96% of the lettuce is made up of water. In addition, lettuce is loaded with powerful antioxidants, which may help keep your heart healthy, lower your blood pressure. It can also help with weight loss.
How To Add To Your Diet
Lettuce is a delicious green, it can be added to many recipes. lettuce can be cooked, boiled, roasted. When boiled the lettuce will be nice and smooth and can be added to stews, soups, etc. If eaten raw lettuce can give a nice refreshing crunch to it, which can be nicely added with fresh salads, and eaten on the side with any main meal.