Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Grow For It!: Growing leaf lettuce

By
From page B4 | January 16, 2013 |

Ruiz_Kathy

KATHY RUIZ

It may be cold and rainy outside, but any day now there will be a break in the weather with sunny days.

That’s the time to start some spring vegetables like peas and leaf lettuce.

Leaf lettuce is one of the easiest winter/spring vegetables to grow and, unlike many garden veggies, it thrives in the cooler, moist season in the foothills. It is very fast growing and when harvested and properly stored in your refrigerator, it is long lasting and very nutritious.

Raised beds are ideal for growing lettuce, but it will do just as well in containers too. Those shallow bowls are perfect for growing a wide variety of leaf lettuces. Start with a good potting mix. This time of year you can place the container where it will get full sun, at least six hours.

Amend the soil in your raised beds with good quality compost. Follow the instructions on the seed packet, but, generally, lettuce seeds are planted at a depth of a ¼ inch. If it’s raining, no need to water. As the seeds germinate and grow, thin the seedlings. The thinnings make a great salad too. To give your lettuce plants the best start, cover the bed with row cover. For lettuce it serves two purposes: the row cover helps retain the warmth from the day’s sunlight and it also keeps birds and other critters off the leaves.

Plan your planting area so that you can successively start another row or two of seeds every three weeks. This will assure a continuous supply of lettuce well into the summer season. Once the lettuce sprouts, give the plants a dose of fish emulsion diluted according to label directions using nitrogen fertilizer.

Weed carefully as lettuce is very shallowly rooted. Irrigate lightly and frequently as needed. Mulching with straw will help retain moisture and keep the leaves clean and off the ground, thereby reducing the amount of soil debris that will have to be washed off after harvest.

As the weather warms, lettuce will bolt or begin to flower. When the leaves start to taste bitter, you’ll know the plant has bolted and will go to seed. Pull and compost these plants out to make room for a new crop.

Some of the best varieties are black seeded Simpson, red and green salad bowl, and rouge d’hiver.

Look for blends or mixes that offer a variety of lettuce types in one seed packet. There are many mesclun mixes that produce leaves with interesting shapes and spicy flavors.

Most leaf lettuce varieties mature in 35 to 50 days, but often you can begin harvesting before the maturity date or just as soon as the outer leaves are a few inches tall.

To harvest, simply take a clean pair of scissors and give the plant a “haircut” by snipping off the outer leaves.

Harvest the leaves early in the day and often to promote continual growth. Nothing says “salad” like home-grown leaf lettuce.

Learn more about propagating from seed and other helpful gardening hints at the Saturday, Jan. 19 Master Gardener Top 20 Gardening Hints class. There is no charge for this three-hour event. It starts at 9 a.m. and is held in the Veterans Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Drive in Placerville.

Master Gardeners are available to answer citrus and home gardening questions Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, by calling 530-621-5512. Walk-ins are welcome. The office is located at 311 Fair Lane in Placerville.

For more information about public education classes and activities go to ucanr.edu/sites/EDC_Master_Gardeners/. Sign up to receive the online notices and e-newsletter at ucanr.edu/mgenews/. Master Gardeners is also on Facebook.

Comments

comments

.

News

Cameron Park house burns

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Supes delay petition

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sand Fire 95% contained

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Two fires in town

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

SUV hits parked cars

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

.

Letters

Water conservation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Koby

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Time for change in CP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Olives need less water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
EID rate discrimination

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Second Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

.

Sports

Racing returns with big 5-division card

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

 
Camp draws good numbers

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

Roundup: July 31, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Prospecting

Sing while you paint

By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

The making of a champion

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

 
Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

 
‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

Time to register for classes at Center Stage

By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

 
Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

 
Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

By News Release | From Page: B8

 
Sacramento Museums are celebrating

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 17-19

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Larry A. Randall

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Mark A. Smith

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Patsy Ruth Wing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

 
Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

 
Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

 
Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23

 
.

Comics

.

Home Source

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23