Growing Greens

Author: Meera, February 24, 2013

Early spring on the Henny Penny Farmette offers the perfect amount of sunshine, cool weather, and rain that lettuce and salad greens love. Lettuce is a cool-season crop and bolts in the heat, going to seed in the hot days of summer. Of course, from bolting comes seeds that you can harvest, dry, and plant another day.


Lettuce doesn’t demand much space to it can be tucked in around your garden almost anywhere. It likes nitrogen-rich soil that drains well and also retains moisture–in short, a rich humus type of soil. Lettuce plants have rather shallow roots and is almost 90 percent water. That means it needs lots of water (but again, good drainage).


Romain and Butterhead (or Boston) lettuce leaves are rich in nutrients whereas iceberg lettuce (that has leaves that are crisp and formed like cabbage) is the least nutritious. It lacks the abundant amount of Vitamins A and B that are found in other cultivars of lettuce (and there are many).


Plant lettuce seeds 1/4 inch deep and space your rows 1 1/2 feet apart. Bear in mind, that you will get a lot of lettuce from a single seed pack–approximately 80 heads or 50 pounds of leaves in a 100-foot-long row.


Successive plantings over smaller amounts will enable you to have greens for salads and sandwiches right up to the warm days of summer. Even in summer, if you plant heat-resistant types of lettuce and plant them in the shade, giving them plenty of water, you can eat lettuce throughout the summer. Then in midsummer, plant head lettuces to harvest until the first frost.


Try growing some greens for fresh salads. Most lettuce will keep up to around ten days to two weeks in the refrigerator.






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