Successful methods for growing leaf lettuce and instructions for them

Recently, it is impossible to imagine a summer table without leaf lettuce. This vegetable crop is quite popular today, although our grandmothers, most likely, have not even heard of it. We use delicate bright greens both as the main component of vitamin salads, and as decoration of dishes, and as a dietary product in medical nutrition.

Plant description

The appearance of the salad in a nutshell cannot be described due to the variety of species. More than 700 different varieties are registered in the State Register of Breeding Achievements and each has its own color, size, shape and taste of leaves. These are large wavy leaves of a light green color or small cylindrical hummocks, delicate low bushes or elegant burgundy rosettes - the variety of species often puzzles gardeners when choosing seeds.

Using a variety of shapes and colors, a vegetable flower bed can be formed from a salad

But, despite the external differences, all varieties of salad contain a large amount of vitamins and nutrients. Here the priority should be given to vitamin K - it contains more leaves of lettuce than any other vegetable. This product is also rich in calcium, magnesium, folic acid, sulfur, iodine, phosphorus and other elements. Due to the presence of B vitamins in lettuce leaves, the use of this greens is recommended for diseases of the nervous system. The lactacin contained in this culture normalizes the blood cholesterol content, which makes it especially useful for diabetics, hypertensive patients and people with increased body weight. Low-calorie salad is used in various diets in the fight against overweight.

Eating salad, regardless of variety, will help improve the appearance of the skin and hair, cope with spring vitamin deficiency and generally improve the body.

Salad leaves of some varieties contain oxalic acid and all, without exception, are rich in fiber. Therefore, people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract should not be excessively carried away by this green.

Popular Salad Varieties

By type of salad, it can be conditionally divided into three groups - leaf, head and half-headed.

Lettuce leaves form a head, head or half head

Of the many varieties registered in the State register of selection achievements, we consider the most popular.

Head varieties

Adamant is a late-ripening variety. Large dark green, slightly tuberous leaves form a small round head, weighing about 350 g. They start harvesting 50 days after sowing. A distinctive feature of the variety is the nutty taste of the leaves and the plant's aversion to early shooting.

Gingerbread man is a late-ripening head of cabbage. The growing season is more than 90 days. Green leaves with a bluish coating are collected in a round smooth head. Taste and presentation are excellent. High yielding variety.

Half-rolled

Kucheryavets Gribovsky is a half-ripened, mid-ripening variety. The period from planting to harvesting 60–70 days. Bright green hilly leaves with a pinkish wavy border are gathered in a loose elongated head of cabbage. The texture is crispy, very good taste. The variety is resistant to spotting, gray rot and early stalking.

Boston is a medium-ripening salad. Light green oily leaves with wavy edges form a loose half-head of elongated shape weighing up to 150 g. The variety is distinguished by high productivity and excellent taste.

Leafy

Riviera - mid-leaf lettuce. A decorative rosette made of semi-erect glossy leaves resembling oak in shape. The distinctive qualities of the variety are good taste, yield, resistance to flowering.

Dubachek is a mid-season variety with oblong wavy leaves. The leaf plate is smooth, slightly bubbled, light green in color. This salad is interesting in that it is able to grow new leaves instead of cut ones.

Lollo Ross is one of the most popular leaf salads. Large rosettes of wavy leaves of all shades of burgundy color are a real decoration of the garden. The variety is mid-season, fruitful with a pleasant taste.

Photo Gallery: Popular Salad Varieties

Adamant salad heads up to 360 g

The mass of head of Kolobok variety reaches a weight of 400 g

Kucheryavets Gribovsky forms a loose half-head weighing 230–460 g

Boston allows you to get from 2.5 to 3 kg of green mass with 1 sq. M.

Rosette of leaves of the Riviera reaches a mass of 600 g

The weight of the Dubashek outlet is about 90 g

With an average mass of a Lollo Rossa outlet with 1 sq. M, you can get 3 kg of raw materials

Seedling growing lettuce

Almost all varieties of lettuce are suitable for sowing both in the greenhouse and in the open ground. To get early greenery, this crop can be grown through seedlings.

Step-by-step process of sowing seeds for seedlings

  1. Mix ordinary garden soil and humus in a 1: 1 ratio and fill the seedlings with the mixture.
  2. To suppress pathogens, shed the soil with a solution of phytosporin.
  3. You need to plant the seeds in moist soil, but not in wet, so after watering it is necessary to allow the soil to dry slightly.
  4. On the surface, make shallow grooves at a distance of 2 cm from each other and spread the seeds.
  5. Sprinkle on top with a small layer of earth, not thicker than 1 cm and spray from the spray gun.

After 4-5 days, the first shoots will appear. The salad seedlings do not require special care - it is only important to water the soil on time and, if necessary, to loosen the soil.

Video: how to care for a salad and get a good harvest

Salad loves moist soil, but does not tolerate waterlogging, so watering should not be excessive, regardless of whether it is seedlings or already mature plants.

Diving seedlings of lettuce is not necessary, you can only thin out it in the phase of two real leaves. After the appearance of 3-4 leaves, seedlings can be planted in a permanent place.

Growing lettuce outlets can be planted on the bed

Sowing seeds in open ground

Lettuce seeds can be sown before winter, when the air temperature will not rise above 0 ° C. Usually suitable conditions develop in early November. In spring, sowing is carried out from April to June, sometimes later, if it is a late-ripening variety.

Salad seeds are small and when sowing, for convenience, they are mixed with river sand. This method helps to avoid thickened landings.

Lettuce prefers fertile soils with a neutral reaction. The preparation of beds for this crop should begin in the fall - make compost or rotted manure for digging and phosphorus-potassium mineral fertilizers on the surface. In the spring, once again dig a bed, remove weed roots and large clods of earth. Smooth the surface and make shallow grooves. The distance between the rows depends on the variety - usually seed producers offer the optimal planting pattern.

Sowing lettuce on a separate bed

Spread the seeds in the grooves and sprinkle with earth, a layer of no more than 1.5 cm. The garden bed can be covered with a film, which after emergence will need to be removed. It is more convenient to use spanbond or lutrasil - shelter with these materials will protect the plantings from temperature extremes, the sun, wind and pests.

Further care consists in regular watering, loosening and weeding. Once every two to three weeks, you can feed salad rows diluted in water with urea and potassium chloride or complex mineral fertilizer.

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When growing lettuce, it is very important to observe crop rotation - this will protect plants from diseases. Salad can be planted after radishes or legumes. Often, a good neighborhood helps prevent certain diseases or pests, so experts recommend planting salad with cucumbers, turnips, cabbage, potatoes.

Growing lettuce on a windowsill

Salad is an unpretentious plant and it can be easily grown at home on the windowsill. Any flower pot or plastic container is suitable for this. Drain holes must be made in the bottom of the tank. Fill the container with soil - any store mix for flowers or seedlings is suitable. Spread the seeds on the surface and sprinkle with a small amount of earth, a layer of 4-5 mm. Spray from the spray bottle and place on the windowsill. The place must be sunny, otherwise the seedlings will be weak and elongated. Nightly lowering the temperature will benefit, as this will create natural conditions for germination.

An unusual container with salad greens will revive the kitchen windowsill

If lettuce is grown in the winter months, with a short daylight hours, then the plants must be illuminated in the morning and evening with a fluorescent lamp or phytolamp. The required light interval for lettuce seedlings is 12-14 hours. The salad is a moisture-loving culture, so regular watering is very important. It is better to water through the pan - this will reduce the likelihood of rot or a black leg.

When the first pair of leaflets appears, seedlings must be thinned out so that the plants can develop freely. 2-3 weeks after the emergence of seedlings, seedlings can be fed with any universal fertilizer.

Video: how to grow lettuce in winter

You can start tearing the leaves as soon as they reach a suitable size, while first it is better to remove the outer leaves, leaving the inner ones to ripen.

Diseases and pests of lettuce

Subject to crop rotation and the correct watering regime, the salad is rarely affected by any disease. To prevent the appearance of gray rot, black leg and downy mildew, it is necessary to shed the seed bed with a solution of copper sulfate at the rate of 5 l per 1 sq. m

The appearance of dark spots on lettuce leaves, most likely, indicates an unpleasant disease - septoria. It is better to remove affected plants immediately so that the disease does not spread to all plantings. It is impossible to treat diseased plants with chemicals, so preventive measures need to be given special attention.

Photo Gallery: Lettuce Disease

Leaves affected by gray rot are covered with gray coating

The black leg is a fungal disease that damages the stems of plants

Downy mildew inhibits the plant and leads to death

Septoria often affects weakened plants

Of the pests of lettuce, the aphids, cruciferous flea, slugs and wireworm are most likely. It is noticed that plants grown under spanbond are not usually affected by aphids.

The appearance of small holes on lettuce leaves may indicate an invasion of the cruciferous flea. Preventive measures are most effective against this pest - weeding weeds, regular watering and top dressing. Well-established agricultural technology allows plants to gain strength in a short time for rapid growth, and adult leaves are less affected by insects.

The bad news is that with the appearance of pests by chemical means, greens cannot be processed. But there is a good one - the biological drug Fitoverm. It does not pollute the environment, is not phytotoxic, and is not found in leaves within 2-3 days after treatment.

It is most effective to use bait against slugs. You can arrange pieces of boards or old linoleum in the beds - pests hide under them from the sun and all that remains is to collect and destroy them. No less effective way - beer bait. Dig small jars into the soil up to the bottom and pour beer on the bottom. The slugs of the whole family crawl into this treat. Using this method, you can get rid of them almost completely.

Against wireworm, it is also most effective to use bait, but you need to do this two weeks before sowing seeds. If you know that the appearance of this pest on the site is not ruled out, on the prepared garden bed you can put pieces of carrots and potatoes, digging them a little and marking the places. A few days later, collect the bait with a wireworm and decompose a new one.

Photo Gallery: Lettuce Pests

Settling throughout the leaf, aphids suck the juice from the plant

Cruciferous flea gnaws passages in leaves and heads of salad

When fighting slugs, their addiction to beer will help

Wireworm lives in the ground and damages the roots of plants

Possible problems with growing lettuce

Sometimes, growing lettuce, gardeners encounter problems. The most common of them is yellowing of the leaves. There may be several reasons for this phenomenon, and the main one is the waterlogging of the plant. Yellowing of the leaves may indicate a lack of trace elements - nitrogen or potassium. With a lack of calcium, magnesium, iron and some other elements, the sheet plate also turns yellow or whitens, chlorosis appears. If the irrigation is adjusted correctly, you can spill the aisles with a solution of complex mineral fertilizers.

The lack of trace elements in the soil leads to yellowing of the leaves at the lettuce

Another problem is the bitterness of lettuce leaves. I must say that bitterness is characteristic of many varieties, especially with a red color, and here it is a peculiar highlight of the plant. A bitter taste may appear due to insufficient watering, when the salad received less moisture during growth. If the leaves have outgrown, that is, they were not harvested on time, they will also be bitter.

You can reduce bitterness in a very simple way. Rinse the collected leaves, shorten the petioles slightly and put in clean water for 2 hours. Then, if the bitterness has not disappeared, you can hold the greens for 2-3 hours in salted water.

Harvesting and storage of lettuce

You can clean the salad in dry weather - in the morning or in the evening. Leaves collected in the heat or after watering or rain will not be stored. Leaf species are cut with a sharp knife after the plant forms 8-10 adult leaves. Half-rolled and rolled-out forms are removed when the head of cabbage is formed and reaches a size corresponding to the varietal description. In any case, cleaning should occur before the flower arrow appears, otherwise the taste will deteriorate sharply.

Leaf lettuce at room temperature can be stored for no more than a day. If the dried leaves are wrapped in paper and put in a plastic bag, the salad will remain in the refrigerator for 4–5 days. To increase the storage time, you can dig out sockets or heads of cabbage with a lump of earth and put in plastic cups. In a plastic bag, in the vegetable compartment, such a crop will last 2-3 weeks.

Potted ground salad stays fresh for a long time

To preserve the salad crop for the winter, you can use pickling. It is not recommended to freeze the leaves, because after defrosting they turn into an unsightly mess.

Salad Reviews

I want to hear who likes to grow some kind of salad and why. In turn, I’ll tell you about my favorite variety: “Dandy”. This variety was advised to me by the seller at the kiosk where they sell seeds, learning that I myself grow seedlings. This type of lettuce is grown in our region only through seedlings (we have Siberia). I liked it more than others, firstly, because it bears fruit all season, new leaves grow all the time, it bears fruit well and tolerates even frosts to -7, and also is stored in a refrigerator for a long time in a cut form (2-3 weeks, no longer I tried), and he also has a sweetish aftertaste. I myself was not a special salad lover, but this variety won me over.

Svetiktomsk

There is an old variety of red salad “Lolla Rosa”, and now there are many other red ones). It is very decorative, bitter, because there is a lot of iodine, it is very useful.

valucha

Dubachek is my favorite, never shoots. Lolla Rossa is a must. Nice and tasty. And it turns out very beautiful to sow them next to one bed. And if it’s not in simple rows yet - just a wonderful still life

Marina

Thanks to the simplicity of growing, salad can decorate our table all year round. And for this it is not at all necessary to have a cottage, a greenhouse or a personal plot - a balcony or a southern window are also suitable. Sow 2-3 varieties of salad in any plastic box or pot - and you will always have tasty and healthy greens to the table.

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