Lettuce :whats the secret?

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becks77
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Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283566 becks77
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:14 pm

Exactly that , no matter what I do I never have success with lettuce what do you all do to ensure success I eat a lot of lettuce and want to do my own.
Have tried in the greenhouse , out the greenhouse, in raised beds out of raised beds in containers in hanging baskets either loads that bolt overnight or nothing at all :lol:
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Green Aura
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283567 Green Aura
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:49 pm

Lettuce bolt quickly when they're too hot - we get the same problem in the polytunnel. We still grow them, but much fewer and at the beginning and end of the season, which reduces the problem a bit, but if you turn your back for one minute.... :banghead:

I find that as we reduce the number of lettuces, we are trying more "cut and come again" salad leaves, rocket, mizuna and spinach (or leaf beet). One particularly nice one we grew this last year was an edible Chrysanthemum (from Real Seeds). The joy of that is that if you miss picking it you get some really pretty flowers. :lol:
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Odsox
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283568 Odsox
Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:57 pm

I grow in succession from about March to October, and always in my polytunnel.
The variety I grow is Little Gem, and the system I have is sow a small pinch in a pot, when they are big enough I prick out the amount I need into small pots and immediately sow some more.
Then when the first lot are big enough to plant out, the second lot are ready to prick out and the 3rd lot get sown .... and so on.

They need watering frequently, letting them get dry is a sure way of making them bolt.

Other than that, fertile soil, talk to them nicely, ect. Oh also the seeds won't germinate over about 20c, so put the pot with seeds in in a cool place in summer, the opposite to everything else you grow.
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diggernotdreamer
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283569 diggernotdreamer
Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:24 pm

Everything as above. I grow lettuce in my polytunnel all year round. If the weather is very hot, I have hoops over the lettuce beds and throw green shading material over the top to stop them getting too hot. I sell mixed salad bags, so I never really get what you call a 'head' of lettuce. I sow lettuce every two weeks, in soil blocks or modules which are then transplanted either into beds or quite large boxes of rich soil mixture. I start to pick the leaves when they are quite small, maybe when you get 4-6 leaves, I will take a few off each, this treatment encourages them to grow new leaves and you can keep picking them for many weeks. Some of those packets of seeds for baby leaf salads are very good and have a decent mixture, you can also sow direct into boxes thinly. But watering is the key and rich moisture retentive soil is key. If you look at the polytunnel growing thread, there is a picture of my salads growing undercover at the moment

ina
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283570 ina
Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:19 pm

Almost the same here, but not having a tunnel I grow them outside, either in raised beds under cover, or in whatever container happens to have a bit of space in it... So all a bit hit and miss, but had plenty of Little Gem last year, and some Iceberg (which I was given in a seedling exchange - would never have thought of growing it myself, but it actually turned out quite nice). Actually, I still have one of them in the raised bed, under plastic - an experiment to see whether it survives the winter! :mrgreen:
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Flo
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283578 Flo
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:44 am

I've found that endive and chicory for cut and come again does family very well. I like the idea of shade and could well use that for the crinkly lettuce rosso that also goes well. Useful tip, thanks DND.

becks77
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Re: Lettuce :whats the secret?

Post: #283588 becks77
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:24 am

Thanks all, rushes out to check seed supplies and state of raised beds ;)
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