Video: Varieties And Growing Of Lettuce
Often other gardeners come to me for gardening. And when all the questions have been discussed, the conversation involuntarily turns to gardening topics: about the harvest, about the successes and disappointments of this season.
In the past difficult season, for some reason, people were most surprised at my site by the unstable harvest of cucumbers and tomatoes (they say, they always give a large harvest), nor the harvest of potatoes (you plant it sprouted, and your land is more fertile, than ours), nor the harvest of apples and sea buckthorn (you planted them much earlier than us), … but beautiful lettuce bushes.
And when his wife cut them a lush bouquet of salad, many said that they did not succeed or they did not plant it at all. And why?
After all, salad in the Mediterranean region has been cultivated since ancient times. Now it is widely cultivated in all countries of the world, being one of the main traditional vegetable crops among many peoples.
The healing properties of salad have been known for a long time. Doctors believe that each person should eat about 3 kg of lettuce per year. It is rich in B vitamins, and in terms of the content of vitamins E and K, it has no equal among vegetables.
The specific substance contained in the salad - lactucin - has a calming effect on the nervous system, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure and strengthens the walls of blood vessels.
Organic acids prevent salt build-up. Pectins, folic acid stimulate the intestines, eliminate cholesterol from the body. Lettuce juice is used to treat chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer.
Physiologically active substances, including almost all currently known vitamins in the leaves, in combination with other valuable components, help to improve metabolism, blood composition, normalize the function of the gastrointestinal tract, and increase vitality. The use of lettuce in the daily diet is an excellent preventive measure against many diseases: obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, disorders of water-salt metabolism.
For cooking salad, use the leaves along with the veins. It is better not to use a stump (thickened stem), since it always contains a significantly higher amount of nitrates compared to leaves.
The optimum air temperature for salad is 15-20 ° С; it grows even at 5 ° C, but slowly. It is frost-hardy: young plants withstand short-term frosts up to -2 … -5 ° С, therefore they are sown earlier than radishes, beets and carrots), fully formed - up to -10 … -15 ° С, and after thawing they retain marketable qualities.
The salad belongs to the group of long-day plants. With an increase in daylight hours in June, it begins to grow faster and often accelerates development, forming stems. It is photophilous, with a lack of light, the plants are small, the heads of cabbage are loose. A high yield and plant weight of 300-500 g can be obtained only on fertile soils, not acidified and clean of weeds.
For early production of fresh salad greens, glazed and film greenhouses and the simplest shelters in the beds are used. Seedlings are prepared 30-35 days before the planned landing date. The best results are obtained when using nutrient cubes 5x5 cm. Seedlings are planted at a distance of 20x20 cm. With such an area of nutrition, harvesting begins 25-40 days after planting, depending on the early maturity of the variety.
In the open field, lettuce is often grown by sowing seeds in the ground (1 g of seeds per 2-3 m2) or seedlings are planted, which significantly speeds up the timing of the harvest. With any method of growing lettuce, thickening is unacceptable, since it gives a lower yield and is highly affected by diseases, especially rot. Outdoor and protected ground care consists in loosening row spacings. The first is carried out after 5-8 days, the last - before closing the rows. Timely loosening eliminates the need for weeding. With sufficient dressing with organic fertilizers for the previous crop or spring soil cultivation, dressing on the salad is not needed. The use of nitrogen fertilizers without analyzing the nitrogen content in the soil is impractical,as it can lead to the formation of an excess of nitrates and an excess of their maximum permissible amount (2000-3000 mg per 1 kg of green mass).
The main secret of successfully growing lettuce in our region is to sow it as early as possible. Therefore, in the first ten days of April I come to the dacha and cover the middle hail in the greenhouse with black film. If there is still snow on it, then I put it on the snow. Two weeks later, depending on the weather (usually 2-3 ten days of April we have sunny days), I sow 2 lines of salad of each variety. I cover with a covering material; I put low arcs (10-12 cm) and put a film on the arches. In early May, I cover the entire greenhouse with a film, then I remove it from the arches, and instead use a covering material to protect not only from recurrent frosts, but also from a sharp rise in temperature and from the May sun, if I am not at the dacha.
At 15-20 May, I plant tomatoes in the greenhouse, and between them - lettuce bushes (with a large clod of earth). I plant the remaining salad on the western side of the greenhouse and cover it with six-liter water bottles (I cut off the bottom at the bottles, and unscrew the corks during the day, if I'm at the dacha).
We use salad with almost all dishes. In the morning - a layer between the components of the sandwich; for lunch and dinner - in salads, soups, side dishes, additives; for an afternoon snack - with cottage cheese, etc. If you have grown a salad, and family members do not really respect it, then start with small doses of it in mixtures. Then, I'm sure everyone will get used to it and will be surprised when he is not on the table.
Now about the varieties. Plant at least 5-6 varieties. Look for your salad: according to your taste, according to the crunch, according to the shelf life and growth on your site. But two of them must be constantly - this is Ballet and Excitement. Today these are, in my opinion, the best varieties in our region. In the photo I have in the top row from left to right: Ballet, Lollo Rossa, Emerald. Bottom row: Excitement and Ross Vella. There was also an English variety Curly Surprise, but by the time of shooting it had already been eaten, since few plants had sprung up.
The Ross Vell salad is interesting - small rosettes of an interesting color, does not shoot and stands almost until autumn along the path. Decorated the track no worse than the hosts. The taste is completely different from the taste of Ballet or Excitement - it has a specific bitterness. But maybe someone will like it - feel free to experiment. This season I will try the rocking salad Batavka and leafy Simpson, I wonder if they will replace my favorite varieties of Excitement and Ballet?
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