How to Grow Lettuce

Lettuce is the staple crop for vegetable gardens and can be used to make simple, elegant salads. Learn how to grow lettuce and how to prevent downy mildew.

| May 28, 2013

You can grow your own vegetables whether you own your own home or live in an apartment. Author Karin Eliasson gives advice on growing over 100 vegetables as well as how to use them in the kitchen. In this excerpt taken from Greens! (Skyhorse Publishing, 2013) learn how to grow lettuce, from iceberg to romaine.

You can purchase this book at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Greens!.

No meal is complete without a large and flavorful salad. Especially in summertime when we can freeze freshly harvested leaves. And you can vary a salad an infinite number of ways, add all kinds of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit, but personally I think the most elegant salad is the simple leaf salad that is only leaves of different colors, flavors, and textures. With a good dressing as a flavor enhancer, it can become the absolute highlight of the dinner table.

Lettuce is a kitchen growth, and it has always been part of my vegetable garden. It is great because it is so easy to grow — you can grow it in a pot, balcony case, hotbed, or in the vegetable garden. Anyone can grow their own lettuce in summertime! With all of the lettuce varieties you can find today, you can also make a very decorative planting of lettuce and enjoy them for a long time. Multiple lettuces are made to harvest continuously and this way you can enjoy the same plant for a long time. This is especially true for leaf lettuce, but also certain head lettuce varieties.

Even though the selection of salads in the vegetable sections of our country’s stores have gotten a lot better over the last years, it is still a huge advantage to harvest your own. As with all vegetables, freshly harvested lettuce is crisper and more flavorful. Directly from the earth to the salad bowl, the shorter the time in between, the better. I always want my lettuce like after a dewy, fresh summer night, chockfull of leaf cells that break when you chew so that it sounds fresh and releases sweet, bitter, and fresh flavors.

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