How to Grow Your Own Lettuce

 lettuce planting facts

1. Seeds & Soil Preparation

A. SOIL PREPARATION Empty the soil bag to the very environmentally friendly coconut pot. Don’t forget to leave about a quarter of an inch or so of empty space in between the surface of the soil and rim of the pot to ensure proper growth. Press the mixture slightly to eliminate stubborn air pockets. Drench the mixture thoroughly with water so it’s ready to provide the right environment for seeds to germinate.

B. SOW. Drop at least 5 seeds into the pot. Cover them lightly with some soil at least 1-2mm deep or just cover the seeds with the thickness not exceeding its diameter. Water the pot very lightly to ensure good seed–to-mix contact. (Take note: It takes 5-10 days before lettuce germinates) Lettuce seeds need light to germinate properly. A bright room or a spot in a greenhouse, OUT of direct sunlight, is ideal.

C. SEAL & NURTURE. Leaving the pot completely open will allow too much heat as well as allowing moisture to escape, this may cause to fewer germination or no germination at all. To prevent this, look for a clear plastic kitchen wrap and spray it with some water. Be sure that the moist side of the plastic will sit above the soil. Go ahead and secure the plastic (moist side inside) with a rubber band, acting as the pot’s lid. This will help to retain the moisture that the seeds need to germinate properly. Twice daily, remove the wrap and sprinkle the pot with some water especially when it’s hot. 

2. Germination & Vegetation 

A. TIME TO UNVEIL THEM. Remove the plastic wrap when the sprouts start to emerge (around 5-10 days after step 1). When you see the first green tendrils (tiny stems) push up through the soil, you can then remove the wrap. Germination is over, now the second stage starts. It’s called vegetative stage. In this stage leaves will form and it will gradually grow. You need to keep the soil moist to aid the growing plant. You may water it very lightly at least two times daily preferably in the morning and late afternoon to maintain its moisture.

B. THINNING. Thin seedlings after they get their second sets of leaves. Pull out the weakest seedlings (Note: perform thinning after the emergence of the true leaves - 4th leaf), for the strongest, healthiest plants you'll want just one seedling per pot. Discard the plucked out       seedlings or you can try to transplant them into different pots, but you risk damaging the roots of the plant, which can adversely affect its rate of survival. 

3. Hydration, Sun Exposure & Fertilization 

A. HYDRATION & SUN EXPOSURE. Lettuce will tell you when it needs water. Just look at it. If the leaves are wilting, sprinkle them anytime even in the heat of the day to cool them off and slow down the transpiration rate. The lettuce may need more or less frequent watering, depending on how warm and sunny your home is. (Check by sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry an inch beneath the surface, it’s time to water). Consider tray-watering your lettuce. Place a tray or saucer of water beneath the pot and allow water to travel into the soil from underneath. By watering from the bottom up, you may have more in success in preventing root rot & fungal diseases. Remember to keep the soil damp but not soaked. 

While lettuce grows fastest when exposed to full sun, it is one of the few vegetables that tolerates some shade. It is ideal to place your lettuce on a place that receives at least 4-6 hours of direct sunlight. 

B. FERTILIZATION. That frequent watering tends to wash out nutrients from the pot’s soil, so you will need to replenish them with fertilizer. Start fertilization 2-3 weeks days after thinning. Sprinkle at least 5-10 pcs of DURABLOOM Pellets to the soil for its nutrient requirements. You can crush the pellets and sprinkle it around (not directly) the lettuce for faster absorption. (Note: not a single bit of nutrient will ever reach the plant system if not carried out by water) it is a must that you water the pot after fertilizer application or apply it before you do your watering. Do this thrice a month. You can also enhance the lettuce’s development by giving it direct nutrients, dilute ½ teaspoon of DURABLOOM Foliar in 2Litres of water and spray it to the leaves of the plant. This will boost root development and ensure that the plant will utilize all nutrients available in the potting media. You can do this once a week.

4. Protection & Harvesting

A. HARVESTING. As soon as the leaf size is to your liking, you can begin to harvest the outer leaves. Leave the inner leaves alone so they can develop further. You may need to water 4-6 weeks for lettuce to mature if you prefer to harvest the fully mature head. Mature lettuce has a bitter taste. 

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