It is possible to grow iceberg lettuce in the country both in the greenhouse and in the open field, and in winter it is really possible to delight yourself with tasty and healthy greens, cultivating it at home on the windowsill. Agricultural technology, in this case, is quite simple, but it can raise many questions. However, if you follow all the recommendations on agricultural technology, then the results will not be long in coming.
Since head salads do not like too high temperatures, the cultivation of iceberg lettuce in the country in a greenhouse is recommended only in late autumn, early spring, or in winter if there is a heated greenhouse.
In general, lettuce is a cold-resistant plant, but it is necessary to sow seeds when there is no threat of severe frosts. It is optimal that the temperature inside the greenhouse does not fall below 40C. Immediately before planting, the ground in the greenhouse should be prepared - thoroughly dug up, adding humus and mineral fertilizers. In addition, it is worth considering that lettuce does not tolerate acidic soils. Therefore, with increased acidity of the soil, it is necessary to lower it. This can be done by bringing ash and lime into the ground. But in this case, you need to be careful with nitrogen-containing fertilizers, since cabbage salads are nitrate accumulators.
Video about growing greens in a winter greenhouse
Before sowing, you will also have to loosen the soil, removing from it all large earthy clods and stones that will impede germination. It is recommended to soak the seeds for a day before planting, which has a positive effect on the appearance of sprouts. Sowing seeds is carried out to a depth of about 1 cm, the distance between rows is 30-40 cm. The planting site must be thoroughly watered and covered with agrofibre or film to retain moisture. Periodically, before the emergence of seedlings, the covering material should be removed in order to ventilate. These measures are prevention against powdery mildew and rotting of a young plant. After the emergence of seedlings in the greenhouse, the planting must be thinned out, leaving one plant every 30 cm.
In order for the iceberg salad to be able to tie into heads of cabbage and gain enough weight, it is recommended to carry out the following care steps for the plants:
After the emergence of seedlings in the greenhouse, planting must be thinned out
The ripening period for iceberg lettuce is 45-80 days from the moment of sowing the seeds.
Growing salad in the country in the open field is possible with seeds or seedlings. Planting seeds in open ground and further caring for plants is exactly the same as when cultivating lettuce in a greenhouse. As for the seedlings, then it is worth adhering to certain recommendations.
Since the head lettuce does not tolerate transplants, the agricultural technology of its seedlings is carried out in peat tablets, which should be purchased in sufficient quantities in a specialized store. Each tablet contains 2-3 seeds. In order not to be puzzled by the preliminary preparation of seed material for sowing, you can take yeast seeds that have a shell from a complex of fertilizers. After all the peat tablets are filled, they are placed in a container, which is left in a room with a temperature not exceeding 180C. As a rule, germination does not take much time, seedlings appear as early as 4-5 days.
Before transferring the seedlings to the site, it is necessary to harden it.
Further cultivation can be carried out at home, where the temperature is higher, but not higher than 250C. That is, in general, containers with plants can be placed on a windowsill or on an unheated balcony. The most suitable for planting in open ground will be seedlings with a height of 8-10 cm, which corresponds to 4-5 leaves. Usually, iceberg lettuce grows to this state in 8-9 weeks. But in this form, plants can be planted in early spring, when there is no too much heat outside, but the soil has already thawed and the threat of frost has passed. Closer to summer, you should pay attention to smaller seedlings, the growth period of which is about 3 weeks, which will allow the lettuce to better transfer the transplant to open ground, as well as optimize for new conditions and high ambient temperatures.
Before transferring the seedlings to the site, it is necessary to harden it. For this, containers with seedlings are taken out for a couple of days in the open air. The shoots are planted on a well-dug garden bed, into which fertilizer and humus have been applied. The transfer is carried out in the same way as when growing iceberg lettuce in a greenhouse. If young plants are planted early enough, then they are covered with agrofibre or perforated film. The covering material is removed after approximately four weeks. But it is necessary to ensure that the temperature under the film does not rise above 250C, since this will negatively affect the formation of the head of cabbage, and its cultivation will be very difficult.
The shoots are planted on a well-dug garden bed
Plant care is the same as when growing in a greenhouse. Those. cultivation of lettuce outdoors requires watering, loosening, weeding and feeding. If you do not forget to carry out the simplest care for the salad, then soon you will be able to feast on the delicious, crispy leaves of this magnificent plant. It is necessary to remove the salad in the early morning, when the sun has not yet dried the dew drops, then the salad will remain juicy and tasty for a long time.
You can also grow iceberg lettuce at home, "breaking" a green garden on the balcony or windowsill. In order to get a harvest of greenery at home, you will first have to take care of containers and soil. Only capacious pots or trays, the approximate size of which is 60x60 cm, are suitable as containers. Do not take smaller ones, since cabbage salads have a well-developed root system, for the correct growth of which a significant volume is required.
Video about growing lettuce, varieties, seedlings, planting and care
Soil mixture for planting is easy to purchase in a specialty store, or you can make it yourself at home. In the second case, it is necessary to take in equal parts humus, sod land, and sand, mix everything thoroughly and apply potash fertilizers.
Soak the most suitable iceberg lettuce seeds in room temperature water for a day. Then drain the water, let the seeds dry out a little and only then plant them in prepared containers with soil. The salad is planted at home to a depth of 0.5 cm, the distance between adjacent plants is at least 12 cm. After sowing the seed material, the soil in the container is watered with water at room temperature and removed to a dark, cool place. After the emergence of shoots, it is strongly recommended to rearrange the containers to a permanent place, but window sills on the south side should be avoided, as direct sunlight can burn the delicate leaves. The main care for the salad at home is timely watering, loosening, prolongation of daylight hours up to 10-12 hours by additional lighting. This will allow you to achieve decent results and delight yourself and your loved ones with greenery throughout the winter. As you can see, growing a salad at home is as easy as growing mint and other spices.
Mother Nature is pleased to present a good salad to our table to help fight the annual vitamin deficiency that plagues us on spring days. This fast growing annual is one of the main suppliers of useful ingredients. Crispy foliage plays the role of that extraordinary zest, which can harmoniously decorate a meat, fish, cheese dish. An important feature of greenery is that it can be cultivated all year round. And quite often, gardeners who have harvested an early harvest carry out repeated sowing of the seeds of this crop in open ground.
Vegetable crops are plants that can be cold-hardy and heat-loving. Depending on this, the age of the seedlings for each of them is different.
Therefore, we sow vegetables for seedlings at a certain time. A group of plants whose seedlings are forty-five or fifty days old when planted in open ground are all varieties of early cabbage.
For late-ripening varieties, this period is 30 days. Cabbage salads and Chinese cabbage are planted with seedlings that will be between twenty-five and thirty days old. And for seedlings of cucumbers, zucchini and watermelons, it is from thirty to forty days.
The longer period that will be required to obtain seedlings will be sixty or seventy days for such plants: onions and leeks, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, celery.
In summer, lettuce can be grown outdoors. To get fresh greens until fall, sow every 14 days.
Choose varieties according to the ripening period: early, middle, late. Information about the timing of sowing and harvesting is indicated on the seed package. Each variety has its own characteristics: strictly follow the recommendations of the breeders on the timing of sowing, so that instead of harvesting greens, you do not get arrows with peduncles.
For leaf lettuce, a place in a light shade is preferable: the greens will turn out to be very tender and juicy.
The preparation of the site is carried out similarly to the greenhouse: autumn digging, fertilization.
Head lettuce is best grown through seedlings, especially if you need to get an early harvest. Seeds are sown in a greenhouse in February, and when several true leaves appear, the seedlings dive into boxes or peat-humus pots.
In addition, you can pre-wet the seeds, and when they bite slightly, sow them in paper or peat-humus pots. Ready seedlings can be planted as soon as the soil dries up a little. On light soils, you can start planting seedlings in late March - early April. On heavier soils, you can squeeze until mid-April. In no case should the head lettuce be planted deeper than it grew on a picking ridge or in pots. The cotyledon leaves should be above the soil surface.
There is nothing wrong with the fact that the plants lie down a little after planting. This is less dangerous than planting seedlings too deep. The distance between plants of early varieties should be 20 × 20 cm, summer ones - 20 × 25 - 30 × 25 cm. The distance between plants in a row is 20 cm, but planted in a checkerboard pattern. Thanks to this, the heads of lettuce develop evenly. The heads of cabbage in summer varieties are much larger.
An amateur gardener who grows seedlings on his own should remember that head lettuce tolerates late spring frosts if hardened seedlings are used. Hardening is understood as the gradual accustoming of plants grown in greenhouses to open ground conditions. To do this, it is necessary to ventilate continuously for two weeks, and in the last week to remove the frames during the day.
A head lettuce needs an average of 7 weeks to develop outdoors from planting to harvest. In unfavorable weather, the growing season can last for about a week. For seedlings in peat pots, only 6 weeks are often enough. Tender and at the same time dense heads of lettuce are obtained only with abundant fertilization and regular loosening of the soil. As soon as the lettuce seedlings take root and begin to grow, which becomes noticeable by the appearance of new leaves, the first feeding is given.
The head lettuce needs nitrogen to form a large leaf mass. Therefore, the solution is prepared from a complete nitrogen-rich fertilizer or dry mineral fertilizers are applied superficially by dispersion, after which abundant watering is required. Top dressing is performed weekly. The concentration of the solution should be only 0.2%, or 2 g of fertilizer per 1 liter of water. The nutrient solution should not come into contact with the leaves. After each feeding, the plants need to be watered with clean water. Regular loosening of the soil promotes rapid growth.
In hot weather, lettuce plants often give off an arrowhead earlier, before heading out. This often happens with early varieties if planted late. In this case, regular watering helps. The soil should be moist all the time so that the plants are washed with moist air. It is better to water in the evening, since at this time it is not dangerous to spray the entire plant as a whole. Water so that the soil is moist enough until the next evening.
When planting early, hardening of plants is important. When using seedlings (approximate age 14-18 days), which were grown in another region, it is necessary to arrange them for adaptation and plant only after 3-4 days. Before planting, it is necessary to apply the main fertilizer to the soil - 8 g of nitrogen per 1 m² (in the form of calcium-ammonium nitrate).
The soil must be properly prepared.
Iceberg lettuce, as a rule, is planted according to the scheme of 30 × 40 or 40 × 40 cm. When planting, it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that the seedling cube must be buried in the soil by a maximum of% of the height.
The salad fades very quickly. Therefore, now it is most often sold in special pots. When growing lettuce, modern methods and technologies are used. For example, hydroponics, growing greens without regular soil using a special nutrient solution.
There are a huge number of lettuce varieties that differ in the color of the leaves, the shape of the rosette, and the taste. For sale, you can grow one or several varieties, you can alternate them.
Sowing lettuce is carried out in the spring every 2 weeks. In summer, the interval is reduced to 1 week. Closer to autumn, they are sown again after 2 weeks. Place the seeds in small cups, 2 in each. Install them in a greenhouse. When the seedlings sprout, they leave a stronger plant.
The salad is grown on fertile, loose, non-acidic soils in sunny areas, not exposed to drafts. You can sow seeds directly into the ground. Then the crops will need to be thinned out, leaving a distance of 8 cm between the plants. Lettuce can be grown hydroponically, but this is an expensive and technology that requires special attention. It is suitable for industrial cultivation.
More information can be found in the video: