Thursday, 29 April 2010

Growing Mesclun Lettuce

Mesclun lettuce is also known as wild or baby lettuce. It is a combination of several different types of lettuce, see photo above. It originally came from the Italian and French regions. Grow mesclun lettuce for a delicious addition to any salad.
  • Find a sunny spot in your garden for the mesclun lettuce. Mesclun lettuce, like all lettuce, needs at least 6 hours of sun to grow properly.
  • Prepare the soil before you plant mesclun lettuce. Lettuce likes loose, loamy and rich soil without being clumped with lots of fertilizers. Try potting soil for best results. 
  • Use a general all-purpose vegetable fertilizer for the mesclun lettuce. Organic fertilizers such as bat guano or fish emulsion are a good choice.
  • Work in this fertilizer at least a week before you plan to sow the lettuce. Break up the soil clods with a garden trowel or fork.
  • Use twine tied between to stakes on either side of the row to help line up the rows evenly.
  • Place the twine just above the soil, then sow the mesclun lettuce seeds along one side of the twine. 
  • Lettuce seeds need light to germinate so if you do cover them at all, cover them lightly. 
  • Once you sow the mesclun seeds, you can remove the twine row marker.
  • Plant mesclun lettuce at the proper time for growing any lettuce. Most lettuce grows best in the cooler seasons of spring or Autumn. 
  • Cultivate the soil around the mesclun lettuce once it starts to grow. 
  • Lettuce roots are shallow and very sensitive, so be careful not to cultivate to hard or deep. 
  • Keep the lettuce bed clear of weeds by using mulch.
  • Harvest mesclun lettuce while the leaves are still young and small. 
  • The lettuce will keep producing all spring if you pick the outer leaves first. 
  • Use sharp scissors or garden shears to cut the lettuce.

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