Did you know that lettuce and sunflowers are relatives? They both belong to the “Daisy” family.
Lettuce grows quickly so be careful how much you decide to plant at once, you don’t want to have too much lettuce mature too quickly! Applying a light mulch to cover the surrounding areas of your lettuce plants will help to reduce evaporation of liquid and ensure that the plants are getting the right amount of water. Lettuce likes to be grown in areas of partial shade, so a great way to do this would be to plant the lettuce beside larger plants than will offer sun coverage.
Since Lettuce does not need deep roots to establish itself, we would rather encourage leaf growth. Watering lettuce should be different from the way that you water other plants. It should be light, frequent and consistent. The goal is to ultimately keep the soil moist.
Aphids are definitely the biggest issue for lettuce plants, they can quickly destroy an entire garden of lettuce overnight. You will know if you have aphids if you see the leaves begin to wilt and curl. Typically aphids hang out on the underside of your lettuce leaf, so simply turn the leaf over and check. Caterpillars, slugs and snails also love the taste of lettuce so if you begin to see bites taken out of the leaves they may be frequenting your garden.
If the lettuce leaves begin to curl, but also turn brown on the tips you may have “tip burn” which happens as a result of inconsistent watering. Simply trim the brown off of the edges and return back to a regular watering schedule.
Most lettuce can be harvested 30-70 days after being planted, but don’t worry, it will be quite obvious when the lettuce is ready to be picked. Timing is mostly based on personal preference, once the lettuce reaches the size that you would like, pick it. Harvesting lettuce in the morning will give you the best flavor! It is up to you, but you can either cut the bunch an inch above the ground if you’d like to eat the entire yield, or you can simply remove a few leaves at a time.
Do you have wilted lettuce? No need to worry, a quick trick can bring your lettuce back to life. Simply put the leaves into a bowl of cold water with ice cubes and soak it for 15 minutes before using it in your dishes.