|arugula in August heat|
Why grow your own lettuce?Grow your own lettuce because it tastes better and I know it has NO chemicals on it. There is also a price consideration. One package of arugula seeds costs less than $2. I plant 2 packages of arugula a year (in 4 plantings.) One bag of organic arugula costs close to $5.
Grow lettuce because it is easy! You can grow it is a pot, in a flower bed, a raised bed and it is not very picky about the sun conditions. Most lettuce seed packs say to plant in full sun. I do plant in full sun in the winter and early spring. By late spring I am planting in partial shade or filtered light to provide protection from our hot North Florida summers. Lettuce is not very picky about the cold either. I have had varieties grow right through the winter.
How to grow lettuce
Select the right varieties for your area. You can find out what zone you are in by using this map. Plant Hardiness Map by Zip Code. I am in zone 9A. I am looking for varieties that are heat tolerant. A general rule is that the leafy lettuces don't perform well in the heat. My go to lettuces particularly for the warmer months are arugula and other spicy lettuces like endive, chicory, radicchio, and Mizuna. I also use various other greens for salads. When young and tender, mustard greens, collard greens, kale and Swiss chard all make delicious salads.
|My favorite mustard greens, Giant Red Mustard and Ruby Streaks Both are beautiful in flower beds.|
- Check the back of the seed pack for planting depth and don't plant seeds too deep.
- Plant in well drained damp soil either directly in the ground or start in flats. Most lettuce transplants easily.
- Many lettuce seeds are tiny and hard not to plant too close together. You can mix the seeds with fine sand to broadcast evenly.
- Fertilize with 1/2 strength fertilizer and be sure to get fertilizer with micro-nutrients.
- As your plants grow thin if necessary. The thinings are delicious
- You can harvest you greens by cutting them with scissors. They will grow again for months.