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Tips for growing lettuce.

May 01, 2023

Pat in Lane County shares her tips for growing lettuce. Let's get seeding! A seed is a miracle. In a tiny seed lies the entire growing plan for everything from flowers to trees.
• Starting plants from seeds indoors or in a good cold frame produces sturdy transplants, better adapted to resist garden dangers. Make it a practice to start all plants which do not mind transplanting this way.
• You can start many plants in a small area, then transplant them to 6 packs and soon have them large enough to take off in the garden.
• One technique is to sow the seeds in a flat of soil, put it on a heating pad or in a warm place, such as the top of the fridge and as soon as they come up, turn off the heat and turn on the lights or put by a bright window. Lettuce seeds require light to germinate, so don’t bury them. Just press gently into firm contact with the soil
• Pricking out is the process of using a fork or knife to separate out the ones to be transplanted.) I find a pizza cutter is great for cutting the rows.
• I get about 7 six-packs of mixed lettuces. Since that is a lot of lettuce, you can cut back the packs for some greens and let them regrow. Most greens respond well to cut and come again. As the trays grow on, you can harvest “paths” between for baby greens and scoop out the next narrow section to pot up. You do not have to individually thin. When first set out, cover them for a while to deter birds etc. looking for spring greens. A cold frame is great for starting lettuce. 
•  As the weather stabilizes, you can set up your seed nursery in a small area of the garden, again planting in trays of seedling soil and protected by a net or cloth cover.

You can visit the demonstration garden in Eugene! 
Master Gardener Adaptive Committee Specialists Demonstration Garden
996 Jefferson St. Eugene Oregon 97402
The garden is open to the public to walk through 10AM-4PM

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