Lettuce (Lactuca spec.)
What must be in a fresh salad? Home-grown green lettuce and baby leaves, of course, otherwise this vitamin source wouldn’t do justice to its name.
There is a huge variety of lettuce plants. Butterhead lettuce is just as suitable for pot planting as simple green and baby leaf lettuce. From May, you can sow lettuce plants as well as plant early seedlings in pots. Lettuce takes around eight weeks from seed to harvesting.
If you buy lettuce as a young plant, plant the seedlings individually in a tub of at least 20 cm diameter. Use a peat-free special soil for container plants.
Ways to use
Healthy lettuce should be part of every meal. The leafy plants are low in calories and contain lots of water, fibre and vitamins C and B. The different types of lettuce have different flavours: some taste nutty, some slightly bitter and there are sweet and hot varieties. Simply choose the variety you like best for your balcony. Unfortunately, lettuce can only be kept for a few days in the fridge. So it is always best picked fresh and used immediately.
Lettuce prefers a sunny location that is not too hot. They have normal water requirements but waterlogging should be avoided.
Fertilise the substrate once with Organic Multipurpose Plant Food before planting or immediately after sowing.
Lettuce seeds can be sown in propagators on the windowsill at 18–20°C from March or April. They can also be sown directly into pots and boxes on the balcony from May. If you buy early seedlings from the nursery, make sure not to plant them too deep into the soil. Planting distance should be 25 x 25 cm per lettuce plant.
Fertilise once with Organic Multipurpose Plant Food before planting or immediately after sowing.
Avoid wetting the leaves when watering, as this can quickly lead to fungal infections. Regularly weed lettuce so that can thrive well.
To harvest, remove the entire head, i.e. use a knife to cut the stem from underneath. Only the outer leaves are picked from baby leaf lettuce. This means that new leaves constantly grow.