Growing Lettuce

Who knew lettuce was so photogenic?

You too can easily have fresh and tasty lettuce, right in your yard.

The first step is to choose seeds that aren’t owned by Monsanto. I’ll try to keep my rant short here. They now own roughly 40% of veggie seeds in the US, and have not only purchased seed companies and their names, but have also purchased the names of some heirloom seeds! Pure evil. Check out this helpful article to get all of the information straight. I used an Organic Heirloom Mesclun Blend from a great local company, Renee’s Garden.

I germinated my seeds indoors by a window in late March, and then transferred the starts to the garden when they were ready. This time of year in California, you can definitely direct sow.

Plant in full sun, after danger of frost. Prepare your beds by loosening the soil at least 10 inches deep. Mix an inch or two of good compost or aged manure it into the soil. If the soil is dry, pre-wet it. Then, plant seeds 1/4 inch deep about an inch apart.

Carefully mist with water to keep the soil moist, daily or more depending on weather – do not let the soil dry out at this stage, or water so hard that your seeds get pushed down or washed away – and 2 days to a week later you’ll have sprouts!

So easy! Soon, you’ll have so much you won’t know what to do with it all, and you’ll have to (gasp) share it! You maverick, you.

Loose leaf lettuces are great because you can just harvest leaves as you need and eat them fresh. They’re delicious plain, but I’ll also be posting at some point on easy homemade salad dressings, so check back!

Another great thing is that you can save seeds from your lettuce plants, because they are open-pollinated (take that, Monsanto!). Check out this detailed lettuce article from Mother Earth News for more information.

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