Red leaf lettuce nutrition profile is similar to other popular leafy vegetables, such as green leaf, romaine, and iceberg lettuce, although there are a few notable differences. For example, when compared to romaine, red leaf lettuce provides more vitamin K, slightly more iron, and slightly fewer calories — while romaine offers more fiber and vitamins A and C (1, 2), as previously noted. Here Rose Lidell, Food.news, reflects on how to plant, harvest and store lettuce:
“Leaf lettuce is perfect for refreshings salads, but did you that you don’t have to buy lettuce from the store? With a bit of time and effort, you can grow your own lettuce at home.
Lettuce is great for gardening beginners because it grows for many weeks in spring and fall when the weather is mild. You can tuck leaf lettuce between and under taller vegetables, and it grows well even in a container garden.
Tips for planting lettuce
Lettuce grows fastest in full sun, but it’s one of the few vegetables that can tolerate some shade. A spring crop will usually last longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season gets warmer.
If you live in the city, you can still grow lots of lettuce in a container.
When growing veggies for salads, mix lettuce with other taller plants, like tomatoes, in the spring.
Lettuce needs fertile, well-drained, moist soil with a lot of rich, organic matter and a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. If you’re not sure about soil pH, test your garden soil with a purchased kit.
Another option is to get a soil test through your regional Cooperative Extension office. Fertilize and apply lime according to test recommendations.
If you don’t do a soil test, the soil may not be ideal for growing vegetables. You may need to add nitrogen-rich amendments like blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure to the top few inches of your native soil.
Fertilizer and potting mix
If you’re growing lettuce in pots, you can give the roots their ideal growing environment by filling the containers with a premium quality potting mix. Leaf lettuce needs nitrogen to grow tender, new leaves quickly and you need to fertilize throughout the growing season.
You can space lettuce closer together or further apart depending on how large you want the plants to grow since lettuce plants adapt to their spacing. For larger plants, space at the maximum distance as indicated on the seed packet instructions.
There are no definite rules for spacing, but some varieties grow well with spacing that’s between six to 18 inches depending on the type, so check the seed packet.
Generally, lettuce should be spaced far enough apart so it can grow to full size. If you want to harvest leaves continuously before they reach their full size you can also plant lettuce much closer together.
Don’t stress over spacing too much because plants adapt to their spacing.”
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