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Tips For Growing Lettuce in the Garden

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					Tips For Growing Lettuce in the Garden
There's nothing better than a salad made with fresh lettuce from the
garden. Adding lettuce to your garden can be a welcome addition. Not only
is healthy and tasty to eat but it needs very little space to grow. But
there are some guidelines you should know before planting lettuce.
To grow lettuce or any other vegetable, you need to have good soil. For
lettuce, keep the nitrogen level high by using 30-10-10 NPK (nitrogen,
phosphorus, potassium) fertilizer. This will provide the lettuce with the
nutrition it needs to produce healthy leaves.
When planting lettuce seeds make sure they are planted 1/8-3/8 inch deep,
separated by 6-12 inches (2-3.5 m) from the next plant. Romaine lettuce
can be planted closer together but other crisp lettuce need more space.
If you plant in rows, keep the rows separated by about 20 inches (6m).
The roots of lettuce do not grow very deep so it is important to weed
often. Many other grasses and plants with deeper root growth can invade
the lettuce.
Since lettuce lacks deep root growth it has to find moisture near the
surface. Therefore it is important to keep the soil moist but not
saturated. Try to keep the water off of the leaves and into the soil
except for the occasional washing. Wet leaves especially during nighttime
temperatures can lead to disease.
Like any other vegetable, lettuce plants have problems with diseases and
pests. Many insects enjoy the lettuce leaves and the folds of the leaves
also offer many places for fungi to grow.
Aphids, flea beetles, leafhoppers, slugs and cutworms are common insects
that feast on lettuce. Washing the leaves with a high-pressure hose can
temporally help get rid of the insects. Insecticide lightly applied to
the lettuce will provide better long-term control.
One common fungal disease is anthracnose (Microdochium panattonianum).
This fungus can stay alive in soil for many years. Bottom rot
(Rhizoctonia solani) is another common fungus. This type of fungus
usually occurs in soil that drains poorly. To combat these fungi, keep
foliage dry and plant in good soil.
Another common problem with lettuce is bolting. Bolting is not a disease
or pest but occurs when the plant goes to seed and the leaves stop
growing. Bolting happens when the temperatures are consistently too high.
To prevent this from happening, plant lettuce in shaded area or plant
next to a shading crop such as corn.
Lettuce is a wonderful vegetable to have in your garden. With proper
preparation and care, you can enjoy salads with fresh lettuce throughout
the growing season.
Looking for creative ideas for your vegetable garden layout? You can stop
searching - visit the Vegetable Gardeners website at
http://www.vegetablegardeners.com for lots of helpful tips and advice.
Plus get your own copy of our free reports for growing better vegetables.

				
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posted:10/15/2010
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