Lettuce is an easy to grow spring and autumn vegetable. It’s two worst enemies are hot temperatures and slugs.
Here are some tips to grow lettuce all summer long, even when temperatures soar.
*Make sure soil contains a good supply of nitrogen for good leaf production.
*Make early plantings in full sun.
*Plant the seeds 1/8 inch deep in a wide row, 6 inches apart in all directions.
*Plant every two weeks for a continuous harvest all summer long.
*As the weather warms up, start planting in partial shade. Either on the side of the house that receives morning sun or in the shade of other taller plants such as corn broccoli etc.
*Keep weeds under control as lettuce has shallow roots and can’t compete with deep rooted weeds.
*Keep soil moist but not wet. Water at the base of the plant and not the leaves wet leaves will encourage disease.
*Aphids, cabbage loopers, flea beetles, leafhoppers and leaf miners are some of the insects that attack lettuce, but slugs are the most notorious for loving lettuce.
*Avoid pesticides as lettuce leaves are very tender and delicate, and can absorb many insecticides. An insecticidal soap or handpicking usually alleviates the majority of lettuce pests.
*One tip to avoid slugs is to avoid mulching lettuce.
Marilyn Pokorney – Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website: http://www.apluswriting.net