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Lettuce

History of Lettuce

Lettuce has been revered from ancient times for its medicinal properties. Lettuce was widely regarded as a plant that helps people sleep, and as an appetite stimulant. Lettuce is known for its bitter flavor and the modern species used today usually have very little nutrient content, with the water content of the plant close to 90%. Lettuce plants have a tendency to “bolt” or have their leaves go vertically upward after growing a specific length from the plant.

The varieties of lettuce are:

· Butterhead
· Iceberg
· Looseleaf
· Romaine
· Batavian
· Cos
· Saladin
· Great Lakes
· Webbs Wonderful
· Rossimo, and
· Tom Thumb

Lettuce Growing Needs

Lettuce tends to mature in 70-80 days before bolting. It is a cold-tolerant plant that can be planted in either early spring or late summer. It thrives in a variety of environments and even grows wild all over Europe. Lettuce thrives in cold, but does NOT do well in very hot summers. Lettuce should be started in the protection of shade during harsh summers and likes mildly acidic soils. Seeds should be planted at a depth of ¼ to ½ inch below the surface and the plants should be spaced 16 to 18 inches apart. Light watering is recommended, and root aeration is essential.

Lettuce Pests

The most common lettuce pests are aphids, worms, foliage rot, and tip burn. Tip burn is a dying off of leaves at the outer edge of the leaf.