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How to Grow Lettuce

By Candi Johns, thefarmbarbie

Tags: Garden, Planting, Growing, Lettuce, Seeds, Candi Johns,

Candi JohnsIf you are like me and all your tomato plants are filled with fungus from all the rain, I have great news!

It's time to put in the fall garden! Squeal!

I am one of those weird people who enjoys cleaning out closets, toy buckets, basements and garages, and throwing things away (or donating them). Few things make me happier. Get rid of the clutter, crap and consumption!

This same good feeling applies to ripping out dying, fungus-filled tomato plants from my garden. They're gone.

Let's put in some fresh, new plants to grow, be healthy and make me smile.

lettuce again

Have I mentioned that I grow most of my plants from seeds? Seeds that I stick directly in the ground? In the garden? Where they will grow into big plants that will make me food?

I do.

Why I do this:

• It's easier.
• It's cheaper. 1 packet of seeds = dozens and dozens of plants. Planting seeds in the ground saves me hundreds of dollars.
• I can plant whenever I want. I don't have to wait for the big-box store to sell seedlings.
• My seeds never go through the "shock" of being moved from an indoor light-hut to the outdoors.
• They never go through the "shock" of being transplanted.
• They never go through the "shock" of being relocated from a store to wind, rain and all the elements.
• They establish strong root systems and are healthier.
• Healthier plants mean stronger plants that can withstand attacks from pests and diseases.
• I like watching seeds emerge from the soil and grow into huge plants that will feed my family.

Lettuce is generally a cool season crop. It grows best and has the best flavor when grown in cool temperatures. I'll be honest. I grow lettuce all spring, summer and fall. My secret is to continually plant new seeds. As long as I harvest the lettuce while it is young the flavor is good.

Let's plant some lettuce!

I have about 20 raised beds. They are filled with a hodge podge of manure (chicken, goat, cow, horse). I'm not picky. I'll take any manure I can get. Thank you.

First, pull out any weeds, rocks and sticks so you can start with a nice clean bed of soil.

lettuce 2

I used my old, metal-rake handle to make a straight divot. I also use this handle to poke holes in the ground to put onion sets in.

lettuce 1

I made all my rows using the rake handle.

lettuce 5

Then I sprinkled the seeds in the row.

I planted a few varieties in this bed. I put spinach seeds in the back row, 2 rows of butter crunch lettuce seeds in the center, and radish seeds in the front row.

lettuce 6

Last, I used the back of the metal rake and covered all the seeds. Done.

April garden

Make sure they get a nice bit of rain and you'll soon have tiny leaves showing up.

April garden

You'll be giving salad to all your neighbors in a few short weeks.

lettuce 7

Yes, I look like a 90-year-old woman on vacation when I work in the garden.

When I lived in a neighborhood, I used to garden in shorts and a tank top. Not anymore. Now I live in the middle of nowhere with poison ivy, poison oak, chiggers, mosquitoes, horseflies, deerflies, ticks and other huge flying things I can't identify.

Sleeves and jeans required.

Better safe than sorry.

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