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So this afternoon we’re going to be sowing some lettuce. It’s quite adaptable. In terms of when to sow lettuce seeds, you can set and grow lettuce all year round. There’s lots and lots of different varieties. I’ve got a quite a collection here from a little gem a valmaine cut and come again we’ve got Iceberg Green cos lamb’s lettuce we’ve got Mustard and Mizuno which I like to set together really. And then we’ve got one called Arctic King which you can grow right through the winter. As I say it’s very adaptable and you can feed yourself with salad leaves right through the summer out through the winter and depending on what what varieties you want to grow.
How to Sow Lettuce Seeds
So today what we’re going to set is some little gem and some valmaine the valmaine are really good because they’re a space saver. What that means is you can just take leaves off. They tend to grow upright rather than in a circular globe type shape. So they take up a little less space and that they’ll keep coming again. As you pick the leaves off it’ll grow from the center and grow out so you can get a lot of crop off a few plants of that.
So they’re easy to set, you can set them in in the location where you’re going to grow them. But what we’re going to do is we’re going to set a few individual trays of peat free compost set half an inch deep so just firm down the compost and we’re going to set the little gem first treat them just the same each each variety. Just check your packets before you start. This is the fiddly bit getting into the seed packet. So the seeds are quite small but they’re not so small that you can’t handle them individually. So all I’m going to do is just take a pinch and just gently spread them out across the surface of the compost. you don’t want them too close don’t set many more than you actually need. So it’s best to set a few extra just in case they don’t germinate but spread them out thinly. Because what you’re going to do is once they’ve grown and germinated we’ll prick those out into individual pots and then let them grow on again and then set them into the position where you want to grow them on for the crop itself. Yeah so probably set to twenty, thirty seeds there which will be plenty.
Lettuce Succession Planting
Another trick as well is not to set all seed at the same time. So if you want to grow these right through the summer set them every two three four weeks. So that you don’t get everything coming at once. And that way. Different varieties the same variety but three or four weeks apart and that way it will all be ready at the same time. So if you’ve eaten one lot the next lot will be coming ready. So you just continue through the season. Yeah it’s just it’s it’s so you not throwing you can’t sometimes if you set too many you can’t eat everything that you grow So other than giving it away you’re going to put it in your compost bin which is a bit of a waste of time and effort really. And so yeah just just the amount that you want each time. And then as one lot is used up the next lot should be coming ready so that’s those done and we’ll quickly set the next one give it a label and then you’ll know which is which because they will look very similar as they germinate.
How to Germinate Lettuce Seeds
I mean some of them if you get some of the varieties like a lollo rosso they’re a sort of pinky reddy colour when they come through. So you can already see that there are different variety. But I would imagine that these these two will look very very similar until they develop into the individual plant itself. Until they germinate you don’t need a warm heated greenhouse. You can just put them into a cold greenhouse or on a warm windowsill and that will help them to germinate again check the back of your packet it’ll tell you the required temperature or preferred temperature so that one is the valmaine. And that’s just as you can see it’s a different colour seed. That’s a white seed. So again just take a pinch of those. And you’ll see these quite clearly on the surface of the compost yeah. So don’t be too worried if you get one or two close together but spread them out as best you can. I tend not to lose sleep over if they’re too close together. So that’s the valmaine done. and all I want to do with those is just give them a drink. Yeah. So use a can with a rose on so you’re not washing all the seed away. Yeah. Just give them a bit of a soak and then all I’m going to do is just use these old mushroom pots and they’ll go into the cold greenhouse and that will help with control of the temperature for them. So once they germinate Just take the lids off and let them grow on until they’re a size that you can prick them out to the next individual pot.
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