The harvests from your kitchen garden are always priceless though it is a vegetable thats available very cheap in stores outside; though you spent a lot on growing it than what its worth.. Though its available in plenty. But the Joy goes one level higher if you start growing something that you dont get outside easily and its very expensive. Yeah!!.. I am making my way towards the title of this post. “The Lettuce”.

Before we start on the techniques of it, a little primer. There are several varieties of Lettuce.

  1. Butterhead
  2. Chinese lettuce
  3. Crisphead/Iceberg
  4. Loose leaf
  5. Romaine/Cos

The ones that we get in the super market is mostly Iceberg. It has more water content, and is very crisp. But it is of very less nutritional value. There are other varieties of Lettuce that do have very high nutritional value. Those lettuce that have a mild flavor and pigmented leaves are rich in nutrients and Anti-oxidants.

What are the Cultivars that I sowed:

  1. Lolla Rosa [Loose leaf]
  2. Red Salad Bowl [Oakleaf Lettuce]
  3. Marvel of Four Seasons [ Butter head]
  4. Great Lakes 118.[Ice berg]

Though the varieties are different, the sowing technique remains the same. FYI, Lettuce belongs to the family Asteraceae ( Same as Sunflower, Daisy etc).

Seed starting:

Lettuce seeds look like this. The darker seeds are of “Red” colored leaves.

seeds

Step 1:

Fill your seedling tray with moist seed starting mix. Your seed starting mix must be free of any pathogens/fungi. Using a sterile seed starting mix will avoid “Damping-off”. Here I use washed Coco-peat/Coco-coir/Coir-pith. Its not soggy but moist.

MyGarden 271

Step 2:

Take your dibber and make half centimeter pit in each cell of the seedling tray. An old toothbrush can be beheaded to make a dibber as in this picture.

MyGarden 274

Step 3:

Sow the seeds two per hole. I sow two per hole. If you think one per hole is fine, goahead with one per hole. Once you have sown the seeds completely. Cover the seeds with little coco peat on all the cells. Sprinkle some water using a sprayer if the media is little dry. And important thing, If you are sowing more than one variety of the same veggie, then Label them.

MyGarden 275

The seeds are sown in the following order from left to right: Great Lakes, Lolla Rossa, Red Salad Bowl, Marvel of Four seasons and the last row is not actually lettuce it is Cabbage ;-). I had just 4 cultivars of lettuce.

More later

gg

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34 Responses

  1. You’re lucky, gg, to get so many varieties and talk about cultivars! Wish we get that in Chennai too… [SIGH] Well, I wouldn’t blame the shops but the people – they just aren’t so enthusiastic here….

    • Its the people my friend. There are lots of excellent gardening products that just fade away as there are no takers or they feel its not worth the price. The price factor is because of not much demand. Anyways. we can talk about it all day!!…

      If you see india as a whole we are still so behind in gardening compariing to other countries. Look at Israel, they are pioneers in many things agri/horti now.

  2. Hi GG,

    This is just excellent!! Me and wife are huge lettuce fans 🙂
    Would you mind seed sharing if you have more of them ?

    KitchenGardener

  3. Hi GG,

    Long time no write… good to see you doing well ….i wonder if Vinitha is not feeling a little neglected !!!!!!!!!!

    As for me, havent had any time for my garden as my father suffered a stroke March end, was hospitalised for a week and my parents are now with me…
    Gardening activities are confined to adding manure and watering , keeping them alive through summer..
    Of course , i have been reading your posts regularly and feel good.

    keep posting…:)

    • Hello Arundati,

      I am shocked to hear that. Must have been a difficult time for you. Hope your dad’s health is getting better now. With emergencies like this, you are finding time to manure and water the plants. That by itself is a great thing. It shows your passion. It is readers like you who motivate me to post more often. :-).

      How are your Hibiscuses doing?.
      I am back on gardening at top gear. About Vinitha, she gets really excited about my garden and helps me start seeds, water plants and keeping my garden clean (which i was very bad at).

      Take care & Happy gardening
      gg

  4. That’s a sad truth, but come to think of it, we Indians in ancient times were supposed to be experts at gardening and used to give garden a special importance. Out Ancient Legends talk about how to grow trees, how important it is to have gardens/parks, and we even had florists as an esteemed profession! Florists unlike today’s were learned in which flower would imbibe which mood, and all that stuff… Hope we don’t lose it all…

    • I cannot agree more. If you get a chance do search the web for “Vrikshayurveda” . It is about ayurveda for plants/trees. Our ancestors have done research on these things to an unimaginable degree. Look at the spectrum of herbs we have. Most of these herbs are exported :(. What about us? . Why should someone from outside tell us how to use “Neem oil” or even Compost tea?. We take lots of things for granted these days and we are busy copying the developed countries. In fact, we are so busy copying that we dont even know that we know(knew) so much. But the good news is we are improving. We will get there..

  5. This is the first time I have seen lettuce seeds! Thanks. I grow lettuce throughout the year and it is an indispensable part of my morning breakfast – sold as young plants here in Japan. Coir is again one item I miss here in Japan (sigh)! It might sound funny to you but next time I come to India, I’m going to get lots of coir and curry leaf seeds.

    • Hi Guru,

      Haa, I know how it feels. Infact, I wouldn’t bother sowing them if i can get lettuce seedlings here. ( finding lettuce is difficult here let alone their seedlings ;).
      Let me tell you something, When I started off gardening, i used to search for alternative mediums and Peat moss is the one that tops the list and I will be like frustrated so much since its something I don’t have access to. But once I started using cocopeat, I lost the need for peat. Does garden centres in Japan stock them?. You can check in some bedding mart/couch makers. Coco coir, before it was a big hit in horticulture, was used primarily as a cushion for bedding.

      Let me know when you come to Bangalore. We shall meet up.
      gg

  6. Well, there’s no coconut tree in mainland Japan :). So coir as are many natural items available dirt cheap in other countries, will be imported into Japan. Peat moss is available here and I do use it where it helps retain moisture. Sure, I’ll catch up with you next time I’m in B’lore.

  7. Respected Sir
    with due respected i am english vegetavles growers os i want hybrid lettuce seed variety raider please contect me.

    thanks nipendra singh chauhan
    moradabad U.P.
    moile no. 09927117560

    • Hello Nipendra,

      Welcome to my blog. The lettuce I have are all OP varieties and not a hybrid one. I will check out in Bangalore, if the variety you mention is available or not.

      gg.

  8. Hi,

    Could you please share with me the source of the seeds?
    Do you also have pics of the final crop?

    Thank you so much.

    Regards
    Satish

    • Hi Satish,

      I buy seeds from different places. The lettuce seeds i got are from DOH & A seed shop near INDAM in K R Road. I have the pics and will post it soon. Work got too hectic and couldnt find time to blog.

      gg

  9. Hi,

    I am excited to tell you that we have started large scale farming of lettuce. Sadly i couldnt get the seeds from the bangalore address you mentioned, as i live in Delhi.
    I imported them from USA and we have sown over 15 acres of land with iceberg and Romaine/Cos variety.

    I would be more than happy to share the pictures if anyone is interested. Or if anyone wants to try farming it in large scale with me.

    We have over 300 acres of farm land with unlimited water supply.

    Thank you
    Satish
    iFarm Produce India
    http://www.ifarm.in
    +91 9750404690

  10. Hi Everyone, Satish

    I’m a new to this blog and have curious of learning little bit of growing lettuce.
    My father owns a land near souther part of karnataka and i’m intereseted in farming. It would be great if you post any details regarding the lettuce farming like weather conditions, seeds availabilty, marketing etc..

    Many Thanks,
    Mahesh

  11. Hi GG,
    Growing vegetables gives me great pleasure. I have started off growing some for my family using the Coir method you suggested. I am growing Tomato and Beans and first harvest is about a week ahead.
    Meanwhile, I am impressed about the lettuce. Can you share the source of Lettuce seeds, is it on the IndoAmerican Seeds on the KR Road, Bangalore?

    Can you help me with this?
    Thanks
    Deepak

    • Nice work Deepak,

      You can get lettuce seeds in National Seeds on the same cross as INDAM(before taking a right turn for Indo American seeds).
      Ciao
      gg

  12. hola somos un grupo de agricultores que sembramos ycomercialisamos nuestro producto en la central de abastos de la ciudad de mexico ultimamente se nos esta poniendo un poco dificil poder pedir nuestra semillas alos estados unidos aver si pormedio de usted conosca alguna persona que nos pueda ayudar por que savemos que aya ay muchas variedades de lechugas loosleaf essta es la variedad que nosotros sembramos pero queremos saver tipos y marcas de las mismas

    Translation:
    hi we are a group of farmers who planted ycomercialisamos our product supplies in central mexico city lately is putting us a bit difficult to ask our seeds aver alos usa adaptive behavior if you meet some person that can help us aya savemos that here are many varieties of lettuce loosleaf essta is the variety that we sow but we know some types and brands of the same

  13. Dear friends,
    Please let me know how to plant best variety of lettuce.Where the seeds are available? & the way to maintain it

    • Anbarasu, there is no one best variety of lettuce. It depends on what you are looking for. You get lettuce seeds in Gandhinagar and in Lalbagh too.

  14. Hey GG,

    I was wondering – from where did you get all these lettuce seeds in Bangalore? Would you be able to share them? Do you have any experience with rocket or argula types? Also, when do you start giving them manure – do you replant them in soil after germination?

    Sam

  15. Hi GG,
    Can I plant my lettuce seeds into regular fertilised soil (potting mix) into either my starter kit seed tray or into a flower bed which is 1 foot deep? I live in Bombay and while it is summer now, my terrace where I want to try the lettuce will have rain in another month / 45 days. Any suggestions? I have no idea where to get the seed sowing mix.

  16. Hi GG,

    I recently got lettuce seeds from lalbagh. I tried EVERYTHING: I put them in composted soil in a pot (both lightly buried and unburied), on damp cotton bed in a petri dish, and even in a coirbed as you described. I must have planted about 40 seeds this way – But not a single one even germinated after 2 weeks! I even put the petri dish in the veg tray of fridge, since I heard that lettuce likes cold – nothing doing. Am I doing something wrong or are the seeds simply dud? If I go and get another seed packet, how would I know they won’t be dud either? Or is it due to the recent hot weather in Bangalore?
    Would really appreciate your help – I am getting rather frustrated…

  17. hi,
    i have just started lettuce iceberg and am facing an issue with the seedlings…..
    after reaching a size of 3 inches the seedlings are falling down…they dont seem to have any strength….i’ve given the appropriate fertilizer to get it started but no improvement….
    would be great to here from someone who has a solution to this problem im facing

    Saad Ahmed

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