Information About Radicchio
Radicchio Growing – How To Grow Radicchio In The Garden
By Amy Grant
If you want to expand the types of salad greens you use, try radicchio growing. There are a few radicchio varieties to choose from, all of which are easy to care for and grow. This article can help get you started.
How to Grow Lettuce
Lettuce is an easy-to-grow annual vegetable. Considered a spring and fall crop, lettuce thrives when temperatures are between 60 to 70 degrees F. Many varieties reach maturity in as little as 30 days, and some can even be harvested much earlier as microgreens. From your garden beds to patio containers, these simple steps will give you a bountiful supply of crisp salad greens throughout multiple seasons.
- When to Plant Lettuce
Lettuce loves cool weather. You can begin planting leaf, romaine and butterhead lettuce as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. Depending on the variety, lettuce germinates in temperatures between 40 to 85 degrees F. If you plant lettuce in successive plantings, with 10 to 14 days in between, you’ll have an extended harvest. To prevent summer bolt, stop planting one month before warm summer temperatures start. Begin planting fall lettuce in late summer so it reaches maturity when the fall air is cool.
Head lettuce is usually started indoors or in a cold frame and transplanted in the spring after the last frost date. Growing lettuce from seedlings for early spring transplant is a good way to get a head start on the growing season.
- Where to Plant Lettuce
The ideal lettuce growing location for spring and fall is in a spot that receives full sun. If you plan on growing lettuce during the summer or in warm planting zones, partial shade can provide protection from the heat. Growing lettuce from seed in late summer may require generous artificial shade to help cool the soil for germination. Once days become cooler, the shade can be removed to give plenty of sunlight to young lettuce plants.
Lettuce grows best in loose, cool soil with good drainage. The addition of organic materials, such as compost or manure, will increase drainage, provide essential nutrients and improve your lettuce growing conditions. If you’ve had trouble with lettuce growth, consider purchasing a soil test kit. Lettuce is sensitive to low pH. The addition of lime can help bring the pH to at least 6.0.
- How to Plant Lettuce
It doesn’t take much work to grow lettuce from seeds. Lettuce seeds are often quite small and only require a planting depth of ¼ to ½ inch deep. Growing lettuce in rows gives your garden a traditional look. Consider alternating rows of green and red lettuce for a whimsical touch.
How far apart to plant lettuce depends on the type of lettuce you’re planting. When sowing seeds directly into the soil, you should plant approximately 10 seeds per foot. Space your rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Thin leaf lettuce seedlings to 4 inches apart. Romaine and butterhead lettuce seedlings require 6 to 8 inches between each plant. Removed seedlings can be transplanted or eaten as delicious, tender microgreens.
Head lettuce is usually grown from seeds started indoors during warm weather for a fall garden. Transplant head lettuce in rows 12 to 18 inches apart with 10 to 12 inches between each plant.
- Water Requirements for Lettuce
You don’t need lettuce to develop deep roots. In fact, you want to encourage leaf growth over rooting. Lettuce watering should be light, frequent and consistent. The goal is to simply keep the soil moist. Avoid watering too often – overwatering leads to root rot, disease and stunted growth.
- Protecting Against Disease and Pests
Aphids can easily destroy a lettuce patch. Leaves curl and wilt as nutrients and water are sucked away. Aphids also spread disease and create mold issues. You’ll find these annoying little white pests hiding on the undersides of lettuce leaves. There isn’t a systemic insecticide to control aphids, so your best option is to encourage natural predators, such as lady beetles, or to apply a horticultural soap or neem oil.
Snails, slugs and caterpillars also love lettuce. Insecticides are one option, but traps, organic bait and hand picking provide organic solutions to these common pests.
If you notice your lettuce beginning to brown and curl, it could be suffering from a physiological condition known as tipburn. Tipburn is often seen on lettuce when moisture is not consistent. Simply trim the browned lettuce and begin a consistent watering schedule.
If you’re planting during the cool season, do so where your crop will get full sun. If you’re growing during warmer temps, plant in partial shade.
Kale is buddy-buddy with beets, celery, cucumbers, herbs, onions, spinach, chard, and potatoes. It isn’t happy growing next to beans, strawberries , or tomatoes.
Keep soil moist to encourage consistent growth. Dress your soil with compost every six to eight weeks. A seaweed emulsion, like Neptune’s Harvest Hydrolized Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer, can help boost growth when used lightly throughout the entire season.
Common Questions About Growing Lettuce
How Long Does It Take Lettuce to Grow?
Lettuce grows fairly quickly. Leaf varieties reach maturity in 30 days but can be harvested as soon as they reach the desired size. Other types of lettuce require 6 to 8 weeks to reach full harvest size.
Can you grow lettuce year ’round?
Garden zones with minimum temperatures in the 60s can grow lettuce all year round. Lettuce seeds germinate in temperatures between 40 to 80 degrees F, depending on the cultivar. Active growth takes place when days are between 60 to 70 degrees. Warmer zones can grow lettuce throughout the winter if you stick to planting lettuce in the fall. Other areas can use modifications, such as cold frames, row covers and greenhouses to extend the growing season.
Can you grow lettuce in hot weather?
Lettuce does not like hot weather. The plant panics and decides that it better produce seeds as quickly as possible. Seed stems develop, and the plant begins diverting nutrients to seed production. This process, known as bolting, produces bitter lettuce.
To reduce lettuce bolting, first look for bolt-resistant lettuce cultivars. Slobolt, for example, can be grown in warmer temperatures. Other gardening tricks to prevent bolting in warm weather include planting lettuce in shady areas, using mulch to cool the ground and conserve moisture, and providing a light mist of overhead irrigation to cool plants.