Laurie Garretson: It’s time to grow delicious lettuce – Victoria Advocate

laurie-garretson:-it’s-time-to-grow-delicious-lettuce-–-victoria-advocate

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I think this time of year is a great time for us to grow some delicious lettuce plants. Lettuce prefers the cool temperatures and low humidity that we’re having now. Lettuce can also be grown in the spring, but as spring time weather begins to heat up, lettuce plants will start to bolt and get bitter.It’s not hard to grow fall lettuce in our area, when planted in plenty of rich organic soil, with some organic fertilizer, compost, adequate amounts of water and some organic mulch, to help maintain moisture levels, you should have some delicious quality plants.Many gardeners have the most success growing lettuce in small succession plantings, instead of planting all of the transplants, or seeds, at once.Leaf lettuce varieties, like romaines, are usually the most common types of lettuces to be grown well in our area.Romaines are crisp and sweet, and some types will resist bolting.Leaf varieties, like romaines, can be harvested a few leaves at a time instead of taking the whole plant at once.Lettuce grows well in the ground and makes a good container-grown plant.One head of lettuce could easily grow as a potted plant inside your kitchen window. Hanging baskets can also be used to grow lettuce along with an herb or two for a fun, yummy lettuce and herb salad basket.Like most vegetable plants, lettuce can have problems with garden pests.Aphids can become a problem but can be controlled with frequent sprays of water from your garden hose to spray them off. Bacillus thurengiensis (BT), a biological insecticide that’s safe for pets and humans, will safely get rid of cabbage loopers and caterpillars that are common pests found in vegetable gardens, and especially on tender lettuce leaves.Lettuce plants can be harvested at any time during the plants’ growth. Go ahead and pick some of your lettuce leaves whenever you’re ready to eat and enjoy a fresh, healthy delicious herb and lettuce salad.Let’s all try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.

Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to [email protected] or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.
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