Browsing Tag

cut and come again varieties

Vegetable Garden

Lettuce… how many should I plant?

May 14, 2011

I’m sure many of us starting out made the mistake of sowing all the lettuce seeds in the pack.

However, after years of growing this humble little salad crop I think I’ve finally sussed it. Six plants. Six little seeds of a loose leafed, cut and come variety is all a lettuce eating family needs… to be truthful we could probably get away with four. Four tiny seeds from a pack of 150 costing €2.50. If my maths are correct that’s just over one and a half cent per lettuce head.

There are many reasons for growing your own food but surely that alone makes it worthwhile?

Frilly little lettuce plants interplanted with colourful flowers look quite pretty in a window box too. Once the seeds have been sown (which takes a couple of minutes) all you have to do is remember to water them. That’s it. Once the plants have started to grow just plant another four (and so on) to keep your crop going.

The lettuce I’ve sown here is a cut and come variety (meaning you just pick the leaves as you need them, or snip the tops of with scissors rather than harvesting the whole plant).

These were planted in the polytunnel at the end of February. They grow well outdoors but you’d have to cover them with a cloche if you wanted to start them that early.

My favourites are the packets of mixed salad leaf varieties as they come in all colours, shapes and sizes.

By the way… slugs love lettuce, so it’s always a good idea to sow a few extra (one for the slug, one for the snail, one to eat and one to fail).  However, I’d planted marigolds (tagetes) next to these and not a single leaf was nibbled (the marigolds were just stalks though!)

So if you’ve never grown any veg before, why not give lettuce a go and then you’ll always have a bit of greenery to add to your sarnie at lunchtime.