Growing a head of lettuce in the open field seems to be difficult only at the beginning. With sufficient skill and proper selection of varieties, you will be able to get a harvest just as well as what professional farmers supply to the stores.
Cabbage and semi-cabbage salads are close relatives of leaf lettuce. They differ, however, not only in appearance, but also in nutrition, and useful properties. Their leaves contain fiber, iron, protein, calcium and potassium. And on the content of vitamins, they can give odds to many green cultures, because they are a source of vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, B9 and beta-carotene.
Cabbage and semi-cabbage salads can be very different colors - from pale yellow-green to purple, brown and brown. Some varieties may have ordinary green leaves and a colored border around the edges. Their leaves are usually rounded, with smooth, jagged or corrugated edges. A variety of varieties will not leave anyone indifferent, however, most often gardeners choose several proven options.
Popular varieties of headed and semi-capped salads
Most of the lettuce seeds offered in garden stores are leafy, but if you wish, you can find both headed and half-nosed varieties. Their leaves can be crisp or oily, vary in taste, presence of bitterness, color, yield and suitability for cultivation in open ground.
|Salad variety||Type of salad||Ripening||Features of the variety|
|Head Out||75-90 days||Crisp, resistant to bolting, cabbages weighing up to 600 g|
|Half-capped||70-80 days||Crisp, with wavy leaves, the mass of an adult plant - up to 450 g|
|Half-capped||68-75 days||Crisp, with a loose fan-shaped rosette, the mass of an adult plant is up to 200 g|
|Head Out||63-70 days||Crisp, productive, mass of an adult plant - up to 200 g|
|Head Out||55-75 days||Red leaves with white veins, the weight of heads is up to 600 g|
|Head Out||75-90 days||Crisp, resistant to stalling, the weight of heads - up to 570 g|
|Head Out||52 days||Semi-crunching, with slightly wrinkled leaves, the mass of an adult plant - up to 300 g|
|Head Out||63-70 days||Crisp, with a dense head of cabbage, the mass of an adult plant - up to 300 g|
|Head Out||68-75 days||Bubble, crunchy, with a closed head, the mass of an adult plant - up to 600 g|
|Head Out||75-90 days||Crisp, resistant to stalks, lettuce and powdery mildew, the mass of an adult plant is up to 750 g|
Iceberg - the only one of the headed salads, which can be stored for up to 3 weeks.
How to grow a lettuce
Cabbage and semi-cabbage salads are good because you can grow them in a difficult way (through seedlings and under cover), and simple (sowing in open ground).
Growing head lettuce through seedlings
Seedling of cabbage lettuce is sown for early harvest. They do this in the beginning or in the middle of March, using small (5-8 cm) pots or boxes as containers (for a subsequent picking).
The salad is demanding on the nutritional value of the soil, so it will not work out with the ready-made mixture — you will need to add 1 share of humus, 1 - river sand and 1 - garden soil. After sowing the seeds, the container with the salad is covered and left in a lit place with a temperature not exceeding 18 ° C. After 48 hours, the seed containers can be transferred to a normal warm room. Shoots appear within 7-10 days, depending on the variety, but they may be delayed.
Caring for a seedling of lettuce comes to watering and spraying the leaves with warm water. If you sowed seeds thickly, then they will have to dive in the phase of the appearance of a pair of leaves. Immediately select the strongest plants, and the weak ones can be grown or thrown away.
The heading of a head of lettuce in the ground is made when the seedlings reach a height of 8 cm, that is, forms 4-5 leaves. Usually this time falls on the end of April, but in the summer with a long daylight day, seedlings may be ready before.
Sowing lettuce in open ground
Landing lettuce is also possible in the greenhouse, under temporary shelter, or directly in open ground, since it is a cold-resistant culture that calmly carries frosts to -5 ° C. Salad is demanding only for sunlight and the type of soil, but with a lack of heat can cope.
For growing lettuce from seeds you need to choose the most lighted and nutritious piece of land on your plot. The fact is that in the shade or on poor land most of the varieties simply do not form heads, bypassing this stage of development, and immediately proceed to tying the stem and flowering.
Salad cultures grow best on light sandy and sandy soils, but they can also grow on loams.
Often, cabbage lettuce is sown as a compactor for mixed plantings, but in this case it is necessary to combine them with crops that do not shade the foliage, for example, with strawberries, herbs, and root crops. And if you sow lettuce in a greenhouse or greenhouse, the crop can be harvested a couple of weeks ahead of schedule.
Care of the lettuce
Planting is as easy as planting a lettuce. If you chose the right place, waited for the end of the return frost and sowed the seeds in fertile soil, then you will need to remember about the salad a couple of times a week.
If you sowed a salad in April on the street, cover it with agrofibre to protect from possible cold snaps.
So, first of all, cabbages and half-smoked salads need regular watering. When the soil dries out, they start to break down, and the greens may acquire bitterness, so do not forget to moisten the soil. You can water them both at the root and on the leaves, but it is advisable to carry out this procedure early in the morning or late afternoon, when direct sunlight does not fall on the salad.
Also, crops should be thinned regularly so that they do not thicken, otherwise, instead of a few strong and large heads you will get a lot of weak and stunted bushes that have not been fully formed.
And finally, so beloved salad Iceberg and its headed "kinsmen" are excellent to feed, especially organic. As an additional food, you can use the infusion of mowed grass, 10% mullein solution, liquid diluted and infused chicken manure or ash infusion. Feed lettuce cultures every 2-3 weeks, and on fertile soils - once a month.
- 9 best summer fertilizers from the magazine "Matchmakers"We prepare nutritious "diet" for plants in the summer.
Cleaning and storage of lettuce
Harvesting and semi-lettuce lettuce is not tied to specific terms, this is done as the crop matures. For good keeping quality, cabbages on the eve are watered abundantly, and then cut, leaving a leg 1-1.5 cm long.
The plant, which went into the boom, is not eaten and immediately removed from the garden bed. It loses all the nutritional value and taste and becomes bitter.
After harvesting the cabbages are stored in a cool place with medium humidity. They lie no more than 5-7 days, then wither and become tasteless. You can extend the storage of the salad by wrapping it in cling film and putting it in the fridge, in the vegetable compartment.
Now that you know how to grow a lettuce, give this culture at least a small piece of land in the country and enrich your diet with a healthy and tasty product.