Lettuce greens are so easy to grow, so nutritious, and so delicious picked fresh, that everyone should grow them. With regular watering, shade from hot sun, and succession planting, you can enjoy homegrown lettuce for many months every year.
Growing plenty of delicious lettuce is a combination of choosing the right varieties, compost based fertilizers, good fertility, and timely harvest.
We prefer to grow lettuce in our Salad Bowl Planters using our compost based soils. These are big enough for good growth — and small enough to move into a shadier area during hot days. This reduces bolting, or flowering, which would mean an end to the harvest.
Other tips that reduce stress — and therefore reduce bolting include
· Keeping the older (and lower) leaves harvested
· Keeping the soil moist
· On hot days, watering in early afternoon also keeps the soil cooler — another stress reducer.
· Keeping the plants well fed — we fertilize with our special organic fertilizer every 2 weeks.
· Choosing bolt resistant varieties
Soil and Fertilizer
To grow the healthiest, most nutritious lettuce, or any nutritious leafy greens, you need to use a fertile, biologically rich soil and a good organic fertilizer rich in trace minerals. We use our rich, compost based soil that has been amended for better drainage, and our fertilizer every 2 weeks.
Once the plants become mature, harvest the outer leaves of leaf lettuces, and the plants will grow new ones for later picking. You can harvest lettuce every couple of days like this if the plants are well fed, but not too much or the plant won’t have the energy to grow back as quickly. You can also harvest the entire heads at once. (Do this if you start to see the plants starting to grow upright since this means they are starting to bolt).