You may have already known that lettuce is relatively easy to grow. But have you ever wondered why? In this article, we answer that question, along with some important information you need to know if you are considering to grow some lettuce. Read on to learn more!
Why is Lettuce so Easy to Grow?
As an annual vegetable, lettuce is easy to grow because you can cultivate it most of the year. It matures in 30 days, with some varieties requiring even less time. You don’t need a large area to plant it either, as it can be highly productive in a space as little as pots in your patio, or a proper garden in your backyard. Another reason why lettuce is easy to grow, according to this article from Burpee.com’s Garden Advice Center is the very low likelihood of it getting exposed to pests or diseases.
Why is My Lettuce Not Growing?
If you think your lettuce’s growth is stunted or wilting, the first thing to consider is modifying the maintenance routine you follow. This article explains the various possible reasons for it, which include moisture level. Either insufficient moisture or too much moisture can lead to problematic growth. Another reason, according to the article is too much heat, as the ideal temperature for the plant to grow properly is between 60 and 70 degrees F (around 15 to 21 degrees C).
Although pests and disease are rare, there are certain fungal pathogens (Sclerotinia minor and Sclerotinia sclerotioru) that can affect growth. These two fungi thrive in wet soil, which means the way to avoid it is to make sure that your garden bed (or pot) is well-drained and left with just the right amount of moisture.
How Do You Pick Lettuce So It Keeps Growing?
Leaf lettuce can keep growing if picked with the “cut-and-come-again” method. This means that as long as it is done properly, the plant can continue to produce leaves for later harvesting. The same article linked above provides the step-by-step process for this. This includes ensuring that the scissors being used are sharp, clean, and wiped with rubbing alcohol before and after use to avoid contamination. It is also recommended that lettuce is picked in the morning as that is when lettuce is at its crispiest. Lastly, the amount of moisture in the soil should be maintained by watering it properly even after harvesting so that it stays healthy and produces leaves again.
When should I trim my lettuce?
Regularly picking/trimming your lettuce keeps it healthy and productive. Most lettuce varieties mature in about 30 days, which means you may trim it as often. Another way to tell that it’s time to trim your lettuce is when the leaves reach three to six inches long, which indicates maturity. Lastly, if your lettuce has already bolted or grown a seed stalk, it’s time to harvest the entire plant. When doing this, make sure that all of the plant, including its roots, is dug up and cut off properly.
Lettuce can be cultivated almost all year, maturing in less than 30 days or less. If your lettuce is wilting or grows stunted, consider changing up your maintenance routine. As long as harvested properly, lettuce stay healthy and can keep producing leaves
If you want to learn a little bit more about growing lettuce, the YouTube video below gives all relevant information you need, from planting to harvest.