Lettuce is the temperature annual or biennial plants of the daisy family Asteracease or it is also a cultivated plant of the daisy family, with edible leaves they area usual ingredient of salads. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. It is eaten either raw, notably in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and many other dishes, or cooked as in Chinese cuisine in which the stem become just as important as the leaf. Lettuce is one of those crops whose fresh picked taste simply can’t be equalled by anything you can buy at the grocers.
Successful production of lettuce depends on the vigorous growth. A wide range of well-drained soil can be used, however, the crop does best on fertile, high organic matter soil that have good water holding capacity.
Lettuce is attacked by aphids, armyworms, imported cabbage worm, and loopers. The pest pressure on summer and full crops is much greater than on spring crops.
The lettuce plant has a very short stem initially ( a rosette grown habit), but when it gradually blooms, the stem and branches lengthen and produce many flower heads that look like those of dandelions, but smaller. This is referred to obsoleting. When grown to ear. Lettuce is harvested before it bolts. Lettuce is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera.
For head lettuce, row 30 to 42 inches apart are common. Regardless of the row width, the in row spacing between each head lettuce plant should be 12 inches. If 42-inches row are used, yield can be increase by planting 2 seed rows per bed leaf and butter head types should be grown in double rows 12 inches apart and 8 to 10 inches in row spacing.
The head lettuce will be ready for harvesting in 70 to 80 days after seeding or 60 to 70 days after transplanting cut only those heads that are firm. Leave 3 to 4 “wrapper” leaves to protest the head. Most leaf types are ready in 50 to 60 days after seeding to 30 to 45 days after transplanting. You will have to harvest every 2 to 3 days, depending on moisture and temperature.
In heated greenhouses, 4 to 6 is required to grow an acceptable transplant. About 6oz of seed and 300 ft2 of bed space are needed to grow to transplants for 1 acre. The seeds should be planted in rows 4 to 6 inches apart. Thin the plants to a uniform spacing of 1 to 2 inches. This will produce stocky plants and reduce the chances of damping-off.
Damping-off is a serious disease of young seedling, whereas mildews and sclerotinia are serious on the more mature plants.
Packing should be done in the field in the A wire bound or waxed fibre carbon designed to hold 20 to 24 heads is used. Lettuce should be packaged “flat pack” to avoid crushing the heads. There are two layers of heads; the bottom layer is packed stem- down and the top layer stem up. This keeps the milky latex from the stem from smearing the heads. All heads in a crate should be of similar size and weight.
Successful growers either need to learn to intricate skills to maintain optimum production or they need to hire someone who has that knowlegment to manage the growing. Successful production of lettuce depends on vigorous growth. (Through the soil)
Construction of the hydroponics system is very high in costly while lettuce planted by the soil is less costly.
Weather and oxygen limitations may make a difference in your production and harvest, whereas in lettuce cultivation in soil have the advantage of a greenhouse to help it.
Lettuce suffers from a number of diseases and problems that are rarely seen in small-scale, organic production. Lettuce mosaic virus, downey mildew, corky root, botrytis (grew molds) sclerotinia, and tipburn are some of the diseases or conditions you may see, especially in crowded plantings under adverse conditions. It is the most popular amongst the salad vegetable crops. More recently, silver leaf whitefly, bemisia argentifolii, outbreaks have also affected lettuce production throughout the state....
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