Growing romaine lettuce by seed and seedling methods
For the preparation of the well-known “Caesar”, the great culinary gurus use romaine lettuce. Growing romaine lettuce comes with some challenges in seed preparation. Also, for sowing, it is important for the farmer to choose a fertile, nutritious soil. Having done everything right, the gardener will get a wonderful harvest..
However, many gardeners confuse this crop with young Peking cabbage. Therefore, it is important to know what romaine lettuce looks like. The plant is an intermediate between the leaf and head varieties. Like Chinese cabbage, the fleshy leaves of Roman lettuce are collected in a rosette. Some varieties resemble horseradish or spinach in appearance. The root part of the bundle is almost white, and the upper part is dark green. These elongated deciduous plates are characterized by pronounced veins..
The taste of Roman lettuce leaves is much sweeter, juicier and more palatable than other varieties. It does not give off bitterness, but, on the contrary, pleases with a delicate nutty aftertaste. These subtle notes of sweetness are exquisitely combined with the overall composition of the dish, rather than interrupting it..
Briefly about the beneficial properties of romaine lettuce
Doctors recommend consuming these greens raw, adding them to salads or making sandwiches. At the same time, juicy leaves are served along with meat or fish dishes, slightly doused with boiling water. Fleshy vegetation is in perfect harmony with garlic sauce, as well as all kinds of spices.
The chemical composition of romaine lettuce, the benefits and harms of which are given below, include:
- ascorbic acid (contains the maximum amount than in other varieties);
- beta carotene;
- groups of vitamins B, E, A and PP;
- mineral salts of trace elements such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and potassium;
- folic acid;
The plant culture is rich in nutrients and saturates the body with them at the most appropriate moment – in the spring..
Since the product is low in calories, it is recommended to use it during diets. In addition, 1 serving of salad contains up to 40% of the daily requirement of vitamin C. It is advised to use it to normalize the work of the cardiovascular system. The plant’s beneficial chemical compounds increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood and have a positive effect on blood pressure. In addition, these greens are an excellent remedy for insomnia. Contraindications to culture have not yet been found.
Growing romaine lettuce in the garden
Some farmers practice sowing seeds directly into open ground, others for seedlings. In any case, it is important to remember that the main requirement of how to grow romaine lettuce is the composition of the soil and moisture indicators. The plant does not tolerate stagnant moisture, therefore, a drainage layer is necessarily formed on clay soils. The earth must contain many mineral components. In this regard, humus is introduced into the garden in the spring with a calculation of 2-3 kg / m². In addition, a sunny area with low acidity is chosen or treated with lime..
The predecessors of the Roman salad should be row crops or cereals..
Two ways to prepare romaine lettuce seeds
Agronomists propose to carry out the process of bubbling seed material. To do this, 24 hours before sowing, they are immersed in a container. It is filled 2/3 with a solution (liquid temperature 20˚C) saturated with microelements. A hose connected to the compressor is lowered into the vessel. Then the unit is turned on so that the seeds are under oxygen pressure for 16 hours.
For the successful cultivation of romaine lettuce, seed pelleting is used. First, they are dipped in a mullein solution for several hours (in a ratio of 1:10).
Then it is poured into a glass container and covered with a mixture, which includes:
- peat (0.6 kg);
- humus (0.3 kg);
- dry mullein (0.1 kg);
- bulk superphosphate (15 g).
The resulting substrate is poured in parts into the container, shaking it each time. Grains should swell over time. Then they are taken out, dried and sown in the garden.
Immediately before planting in the ground, the seeds are moistened. They are also mixed with sand in order to avoid further thinning of crops..
The subtleties of growing seedlings of romaine lettuce
Sowing seedlings is carried out in early February. For this, small containers are filled with sand and peat, in a ratio of 1: 2. In the soil mixture, grooves up to 1.5-2 cm deep are formed, the soil is sprayed from a spray bottle, and then the seeds are sown. The boxes are transferred to a room where the temperature ranges from 16 to 20˚С. At the same time, the lighting there should be moderately diffused..
When 4 full leaves appear, the seedlings dive into separate pots and transfer them to a well-lit room. There, the seedlings are watered and, if necessary, supplemented with special lamps..
Planting and agricultural techniques for growing romaine lettuce
The seedlings are transferred directly to the garden bed in mid-April, when the soil warms up enough. The distance between specimens should be 15 cm for early maturing varieties and 25-30 cm for late ones..
At the same time, when sowing seeds in open ground, it is important to consider some technical points:
- embedment depth – 1.5-2 cm;
- row spacing – 45-70 cm;
- the interval between heads of cabbage is 20 cm;
- diameter of each hole – 5 cm.
Further agricultural technology for growing lettuce comes down to regular watering and loosening the soil. Depending on the weather, each instance needs to be provided with 500 ml of liquid. In hot periods, up to 15 liters of water must be added to 1 m². Weeding the beds is carried out 4 times per season, since the root system of the culture needs a lot of oxygen.
2 weeks after the emergence of seedlings, the crops are thinned out. At the same time, up to 20-25 cm of free space is left between the copies..
The thinning procedure significantly weakens the immunity of plants. For this reason, agronomists recommend applying potassium nitrate at a rate of 20 g / m². Some people use mullein solution, spraying it only on the root zone. All other nitrogen-potassium complexes are used during the active growth of the culture, until the moment of closure. Otherwise, feeding will harm the plant..
As soon as the core of the rosette becomes rigid, the leaves are cut off. However, the cultivation of romaine lettuce does not end there. A month later, young greens grow from these bundles. This feature of the culture allows you to enjoy its sweet taste several times throughout the season..