Growing lettuce is fairly easy and can reward you with crisp, fresh greens all season long. Lettuce is the perfect vegetable to grow, especially for beginner gardeners because they don't require a lot of care or expertise, but in order for them to grow big and healthy, there are some things you need to know! These 6 tips for growing lettuce will ensure a healthy, long lasting crop.
Tips for Growing Lettuce
#1. Choose the Right Soil
If you want the perfect lettuce, you'll need the perfect soil! Lettuce loves nutrient rich, moist soil that will drain well. For an even better crop, fertilize the soil with nitrogen and potassium. Consider adding compost and manure to the soil and keep the soil's pH to 6.0-6.8
For lettuce to grow big and crispy, it will need a lot of water. Especially during dry spells, make sure to water your lettuce plant a few time a week. If it's a rainy week, you can keep it down to once a week. Feel the soil to make sure it's always moist.
#3. Give Space
If you want to grow big heads of lettuce, make sure you give them at least 18 inches of space in between each plant. Don't plant next to other plants or trees – lettuce loves to spread out. Although there are lettuce varieties that only need about 6-8 inches of space, it's still best to give them a few more inches so they can stretch out.
#4. Keep an Eye Out for Disease
While lettuce is pretty easy to grow and doesn't have too many problems, you will have to watch out for a few things. Lettuce can be susceptible to bottom rot, tip burn, and damping off. To avoid all of this, make sure you plant in good quality soil, water a few times a week, and rotate your crop each year to avoid soil disease.
Mulch heavily around each lettuce plant to prevent weeds from growing, retain moisture, and reduce the amount of tip burn.
#6. Harvest at the Right Time
You may feel tempted to harvest later so you can get a bigger head of lettuce, but this is a huge mistake that most beginner gardeners make. Harvesting your lettuce too late can give it a very bad and bitter taste. Taste test your lettuce before harvesting, don't let it wilt, and always harvest in the morning.