n Farmer’s Weekly - Fine-tuning your lettuce : vegetable production

Volume 2016, Issue 16018
  • ISSN : 0041-848X



I often see a large amount of lettuce left behind on the land after harvesting. The production costs up to harvest remain the same, so harvesting a low percentage of lettuces will clearly affect your profits. This is a fast-growing crop and any setback is serious. You cannot play catch-up with lettuce; you need to do it the right way from the start. Transplants must be planted into moist soil and be moist themselves as well. Do not plant them into dry soil and trust that irrigation will make up the shortfall. The lettuce plant reacts very quickly to stress, no matter how short this might be, in order to maximise its chances of surviving to bear seed later. And recovery after stress takes time. This mechanism can be seen when you sow seeds in very hot conditions. A few may germinate, but the rest will wait, despite the conditions becoming favourable for germination. Instead, they may only germinate when the first plants are nearly ready for planting.

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