Updated: Jun 15
GROWING LOOSE-LEAF LETTUCE
Why grow gorgeous greens? It's quite a simple process, and leafy greens are packed with nutrients such as Iron, Folate, Fiber, & Vitamins A & C. If you are a fan of salads, or adding green in your sautees, sandwiches, or soups, try growing your very own fresh, assorted supply!
Types & Timing
Try loose-leaf lettuce that is "cut & come again." Examples would be the lovely Arugula, Kale, Spinach, and a variety of lettuces. When harvesting, you cut the greens 1 inch above the soil and return to harvest again with a smile in about 2 weeks :-)
Typically, greens like a rich topsoil, mixed with compost and peat. You may need to work in organic material, such as compost or manure into your garden soil to prepare enough nutrients for your seeds. Plant seeds in a row- space rows about 1 ft apart. Space seeds about 1 inch apart in a single line. Cover with 1/4 inch organic soil (try to nix any yucky chemicals such as nitrates). Gently pat the soil and lightly water over the covered seeds.
Waiting & Watching
Within 2 weeks you should see some healthy sproutings... Not enough for a salad yet, but be patient! Depending on the sun, rain, and temp. the greens will arise!
Leaves are sweetest to pick in the morning, around 7am. After gathering the leaves, quickly rinse with cool water. Wrap in a towel, either pat them dry or, air dry them by swinging your arm around in a circular motion. Make a salad right away, or if you must, hummm your way to the fridge and store lettuce in a crisper (use within 2 days).
SLUGS! For their body type, you would not think a lazy slug would dine on greens, but they do! Trick: They also are beer lovers, so place tins of beer around your lettuce garden. It will drown the slugs (drunkards)!
Any gardener knows that weeding is just part of your duties. I realize that eradicating weeds through a quick spray versus time consuming weed pulling seems like a good way to manage the mayhem. May I suggest spraying with harmful chemicals is NOT the way to go? What goes on and into the plants will go into us when we eat these beautiful greens. Chemicals will also cause stripping of some nutrients, and can make your soil a toxic environment. If you are looking for safer alternatives, check out ConsumerNotice.Org You will find ideas for more natural, yet effective weed killers, such as white vinegar (see the Homemade Roundup Alternative Recipe) and organic herbicides such as Green Match. Go to: https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/pesticides/roundup/alternatives/
Seed Resources (Non-GMO, Organic, Heirloom)
Seed Savers Exchange www.seedsavers.org
Peaceful Valley www.groworganic.com
Johnny Seeds www.johnnyseeds.com
I am always astonished that such life can grow out of one tiny seed! In a single seed, we have nourishment for our bodies. What a beautiful miracle of nature!
➽Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only, and NOT intended as medical health care claims, cures, or therapies. Please consult with your doctor/specialist if you have any health concerns or questions about herbal medicine.
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