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How to Care for Lettuce in Winter & Harvest Tips

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Lettuce Field

Lettuce is a great leafy veggie to grow because it grows quickly, produces for a long time, and requires little maintenance as long as you keep it well watered. In this article, we’ll guide you about how to care for your lettuce during winter as we’d already covered Lettuce Cultivation Guide: Planting & Growing Lettuce in Winter in our previous article. Let’s Start!!

Tips for Keeping Your Lettuce Healthy during Winter:

  • Fertilize 3 weeks after transplanting. Lettuce prefers soil rich in organic matter, with plenty of compost and a consistent supply of nitrogen to keep it growing quickly. Organic alfalfa meal or a slow-release fertilizer should be used.

  • Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy. It should drain properly.

  • Lettuce will alert you when it requires water. Take a look at it! If the leaves are wilting, sprinkle them at any time, even during the day, to cool them down and slow the rate of transpiration. Row covers can also prevent the lettuce from drying out in the sun.

  • Using organic mulch will help to conserve moisture, suppress weeds, and keep soil temperatures cool during the hotter months.

  • Weed by hand if necessary, but be careful not to damage the shallow roots of your lettuce plants.

The problem of Bolting:

  • Bolting is a common issue caused by high temperatures (more than 70°F / 20°C) or changes in day length. When a lettuce plant bolts, it develops a central stem and seed stalk, and the leaves develop a bitter flavor.

  • Cover plants with a shade cloth to provide filtered light and delay bolting. Watering should be continued even during the hottest parts of the growing season.

  • Planting lettuce in the shade of taller plants, such as tomatoes or sweet corn, may help to reduce bolting in the heat of summer.

Tips to Harvest Lettuce:

  • Lettuce should be harvested when it is full size but not yet mature. When the leaves are young and tender, they taste the best.

  • You can harvest leaf lettuce before it matures by simply removing the outer leaves, allowing the center leaves to continue to grow.

  • Harvesting butterhead, romaine, and loose-leaf lettuce involve removing the outer leaves, digging up the entire plant, or cutting the plant about an inch above the soil surface. When using the first or third methods, a second harvest is frequently possible.

  • When the centre of the crisphead lettuce is firm, it is picked.

  • Mature lettuce becomes bitter and woody, and it spoils quickly, so keep an eye on your garden every day for ready-to-harvest leaves.

  • It's best to harvest lettuce first thing in the morning before the leaves have been exposed to the sun because they'll be the crispest.

  • As time passes and the plant loses vigour, it may be better to plant a second round of seeds rather than wait for new leaves.

  • In a loose plastic bag, store lettuce in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Have the lettuce leaves wilted? Soak the leaves for about 15 minutes in a bowl of cold water with ice cubes.

Eating lettuce for dinner can be calming and stress-reducing. Take advantage of these leafy greens!!

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