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Growing Romaine Lettuce Properly

Growing Romaine Lettuce Properly


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A head-type annual plant with crispy leaves, Romaine is considered the most popular salad. Without juicy leaves with a loose structure, it is impossible to cook everyone's favorite "Caesar". You can grow it at home. If stored correctly, the leaves will retain their amazing taste for a long time and will look delicious.

Composition and nutritional value of romaine lettuce

Greens differ from other varieties juicy, resilient leaves... If a crop is grown in the right conditions, it has a uniform appearance. There should be no mechanical damage and yellowish spots.

Due to its low calorie content, Romaine is very popular in calorie counting circles. In 100 gr. greens contained 17 kcal.

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are arranged in this order:

  • proteins, g: 1.8
  • carbohydrates, g: 2.7
  • fat, g: 1.1

The chemical composition of Romain is rich in minerals, vitamins and microelements important for the body. The value of the plant is as follows:

  • cellulose
  • vitamins A, B4, B9, C, K
  • potassium
  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • sodium
  • iron
  • phosphorus
  • amino acids
  • beta carotene

The average weight of a mature bunch is 300 g... Loose foliage does not adhere to each other. Due to the fact that dishes based on Romaine are seasoned with honey, sunflower (olive) oil, lemon juice, yoghurts, the benefits of such food are very high.

You should not chop the bundles with a knife - this affects the taste and useful qualities. Salad greens accepted tear with hands... It is better not to store ready-made meals, quickly, for a long time.

Due to the content of amino acids, it is responsible for human longevity.

Origin story

The plant is of Italian origin. The salad is more than 5,000 years old, and the leaves were originally used for medicinal purposes. The vegetable was first discovered in ancient Rome, hence the name Romaine.

With fleshy leaves of a rich green hue, many diseases were previously treated. Later it became widely used in cooking. Today Romain - essential edible greens for a healthy diet... The most exquisite restaurant dishes and snacks are prepared from it.

Useful properties of romaine

Useful components make this greens an indispensable product for the human body.

  1. Due to its potassium content, it is appreciated for various diets. The component regulates the water balance in the human body, fights puffiness.
  2. Edible greens are good for work cardiovascular and digestive system.
  3. If you often eat the leaves, your blood pressure will normalize. Greens help lower blood pressure.
  4. Carotene evens out the level of hemoglobin, indicated for depletion of the body, anemia.
  5. After regular use, the factor of excretion of harmful cholesterol and salts is noted.
  6. Responsible for metabolic processes, as well as the function of the adrenal glands.

Low-calorie vegetable, recommended in large quantities with dietary nutrition... Used lettuce leaves during "fasting" days, you can get rid of extra pounds, improve your health. Under the influence of the components contained inside, the body has the property of breaking down fats.

You can add it to salads and a variety of dishes. Make smoothies, vegetable soups, or simply decorate dishes. The bundles will be smoothed out very beautifully and appetizing. Leaves crunch pleasantly. The taste is nutty and spicy. The structure is juicy. The salad looks loose, cooks use exclusively young leaves.

Unique taste is not inferior to useful characteristics.

Harm from use

Restrictions on use not identified... If there is an individual intolerance, it is better not to eat the leaves.

Storage rules

Supermarkets most often sell leaves in pots, in this form the salad is stored for a long time up to 3 weeks.

If you store it in the refrigerator, it is better to sprinkle it lightly with water, wrap it with a napkin. Use the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for storage. Make sure that the leaves do not rot. Shelf life inside the refrigerator 3-5 days.

Some housewives freeze greens, using them for the subsequent preparation of soups, cocktails. Freeze in whole bunches or chop by hand. When frozen, the salad loses its attractiveness. However, when defrosting, the taste remains. You can freeze in ice cube trays before filling the greens with water.

To crunch the leaves when serving, before cooking they need to be poured with ice water for 30 minutes.

Growing Roman salad at home on the balcony

Demanding vegetable culture very difficult to grow on a balcony or at home... Due to the fact that the root system of the lettuce is located in the top layer of the soil, it is difficult to provide proper maintenance. If you still manage to grow it, due to some factors, the leaves acquire a bitter taste.

  1. Sow the seeds on trays with bio-primer... Provide a sunny, ventilated place on the windowsill.
  2. It is not necessary to sow very deeply, 1-1.5 cm is enough. Water abundantly, cover the tray with film or glass - this will ensure a greenhouse effect.
  3. To water as the soil dries out, until strong shoots appear with a spray bottle.
  4. When the sprouts give good shoots, water at the root, spray periodically.
  5. Cut bushes from the root can sprout. Some, buying salad in pots, plant roots for growing on the windowsill.
  6. If there is greenhouse, it can provide comfortable conditions for vegetable crops.
  7. The seeds can be purchased from specialty stores. Do not forget to pay attention to the shelf life of seeds.

Lettuce grows well next to varieties of seed lettuce, you can take a mixture of seeds.

Roman should be on the table of everyone who cares about their health. The advantages of vegetable crops are long shelf life outside the refrigerator. A great-tasting salad will allow you to experiment when preparing healthy dishes in the kitchen. You should be aware that long-term storage destroys vitamin C, which is why many grow it at home.


What is the difference between romaine lettuce and head lettuce?

Romaine lettuce is an annual, cold-resistant crop. The rosette of leaves is large (32-40 cm) with vertically arranged leaves. The leaves are oblong-obovate, almost smooth, dark green in color. Heads of cabbage are loose, large, weighing 100-250 g. Seed germination temperature is 4-5 ° С. Romaine lettuce is usually grown for autumn consumption.

What varieties of romaine lettuce are grown?

❖ Balloon - late ripening, from germination to marketable ripeness 110-120 days. The leaves are light green, the head is broadly oval, large, loose, the mass of the head is 300-400 g.

❖ Parisian green - mid-season, from germination to technical ripeness 80-90 days. Leaves are dark green, juicy, smooth, loose head of cabbage, head weight 200-300 g. The variety is cold-resistant and heat-resistant.

What is so special about growing romaine lettuce?

Romaine lettuce is grown by sowing in the ground or planting seedlings. Seeds are sown in early spring, and for autumn use and storage - at the end of July. Plants develop on an area of ​​20x20 cm. To lengthen the consumption of romaine, they use the method of storage in basements. Plants are dug out of the ground with roots and dropped into boxes. After planting, the plants are covered with an opaque material and the temperature is maintained within 1-2 ° C. In such conditions, the salad is stored until January.


Ways and methods of growing lettuce

For planting lettuce, a plot of land with a southern slope is chosen. The seeds of lettuce are very small, so the soil is prepared with special care, digging in autumn and spring to a depth of 20 cm. In the spring, when preparing the soil, mineral fertilizers are applied at the rate of 30 g per square meter. Lettuce is grown outdoors (or at home on a windowsill). Other varieties are more expedient to grow through seedlings.

To speed up sprouting, lettuce seeds are soaked for two to four days, and then dried. The salad can be planted every two weeks from mid-spring to mid-summer. You can also sow before winter, shortly before the onset of cold weather.

In spring, lettuce is sown very early, immediately after thawing the soil. Ridges are usually used, with rows every 20 cm for leafy varieties and up to 40 cm for cabbages. Seeds are planted to a depth of 1.5 cm. Seedlings appear in spring in two weeks, and in summer in less than a week. To accelerate growth in open ground, the crops are covered with foil.

Growing lettuce seedlings

Seeds are sown in pots with a diameter of 5 cm three weeks before planting in the ground. The soil mixture is prepared from peat, sand, sawdust, lime and mineral fertilizers at the rate of 60-70 g per 10 kg of the mixture. The relative humidity of the soil should be around 70%. A week before planting in the ground, the seedlings are hardened, lowering the temperature and reducing watering. Seedlings should have 5-6 leaves. Seedlings of head lettuce are planted in the ground after the end of frost, usually at the end of spring, in ridges at a distance of 30-40 cm between plants. Seedlings of asparagus salad are planted in increments of 40 cm and watered daily until they take root.

Salad care

Caring for the salad consists in loosening, weeding and watering. Lettuce grown from seed is thinned twice, leaving first 5-7 and then 20-30 cm between the plants. Water the salad as needed, avoiding water getting on the leaves.

Salad cleaning

The lettuce is harvested about a month after germination. Full cleaning is done when 8-9 leaves are formed in the outlet. Overexposure of the plant in the soil leads to the accumulation of bitterness in the leaves. In head varieties, ripeness occurs in 1.5-2.5 months, in romaine lettuce - in 2.5-3 months. Leaves of asparagus lettuce are harvested when they are formed in 15-20 pieces, while the growing season of asparagus lettuce is 2.5-3 months.

Salad storage

Lettuce is stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks, cabbage salad - 1 month, romaine - 2-3 months. Asparagus lettuce plants dug up from the root can be stored for a long time in dark, cold rooms.


Leaf lettuce, cabbage and romaine lettuce.

Lettuce leaves are rich in vitamins, mineral salts and organic acids. Thanks to this, lettuce is becoming more and more widespread both in the open and in the protected ground.
There are three types of lettuce: leaf lettuce, head lettuce and romaine lettuce.
The leaf forms a rosette of leaves, which is used for food. This is the earliest form of lettuce. The leaves can be used for food after 30-40 days. After the formation of a rosette, the plant throws out a flowering stem.
The head lettuce forms a rosette of leaves in the first stages, and then forms a loose head of cabbage. Depending on the variety, the technical ripeness of the head lettuce occurs in 50-95 days.

Romaine forms a head of cabbage obovate or oval. The period from sowing to the onset of technical ripeness is 70-100 days.
Lettuce is a cold-resistant plant. Its seeds germinate at 5 ° C, the optimum temperature for its growth is 15-20 ° C. But at 12-14 ° C denser heads of cabbage are formed. Temperatures above 20 ° C accelerate stem formation.

Hardened plants tolerate short-term frosts down to -5 -6 ° C. The stage of vernalization in lettuce takes place at a temperature of 2-5 ° C. For leaf lettuce, it ends in 10-12 days, and for head lettuce - in 20-25 days. A long period of low temperature accelerates the development of plants and is therefore undesirable.

Lettuce is a light-loving long-day plant. Growing under long day conditions accelerates the transition to stemming and flower formation.
The salad places high demands on soil fertility. To obtain a good harvest, it should be placed on cultivated, humus-rich soils with a neutral reaction of the environment. The plant is responsive to the introduction of nitrogen, but with abundant nitrogen fertilization, nitrites and nitrates accumulate in the leaves, which reduces the dietary quality of the product. On well-supplied soils with organic matter, it is recommended to apply only phosphorus and potassium fertilizers for salad (superphosphate - 350-400 g, potassium chloride - 100 g per 10 sq. M.), Preferably in the fall.
The root system does not penetrate deeply into the soil. At the same time, lettuce has a large evaporating leaf surface. Therefore, the plant requires high soil moisture. With a lack of moisture, the leaves do not reach their optimal size. However, excessive soil moisture in combination with high relative air humidity causes diseases of plants with downy mildew, as well as white and gray rot.

Outdoor cultivation.

Leaf salad grown by sowing seeds to a permanent place. To get products in the early stages, it is best to choose a plot for lettuce that is well heated, with a slope to the south. Considering that the seeds of the lettuce are very small and they have to be planted at a shallow depth, the preparation of the soil must be very careful. The presence of large lumps and lumps is unacceptable.
Sowing is carried out at the earliest possible date, as soon as the soil reaches ripeness, placing 4-5 rows on the ridge with row spacing of 20-25 cm.After sowing, the soil is rolled with light rollers or slightly compacted. In a row, lettuce can grow with significant thickening at a distance of 3-4 cm from each other.

Head salad can be grown by sowing and seedling methods. With the sowing method, the seeds are placed in the same way as for lettuce, but after a rosette of 4-5 leaves has been formed, the plants are thinned: in early maturing varieties, 20 cm is left, in late varieties - 25 cm between plants. Selected plants can be used for food or planted in another area.

To obtain heads of cabbage at an earlier date, seedlings are first grown, which are prepared in small seedling pots (3x3, 4x4 cm) for 30-35 days. Hardened seedlings can be planted in the early stages according to the scheme: 4-5 rows on a ridge with a distance in a row of 20-25 cm.
Caring for lettuce crops consists in loosening row spacings, weeding, fertilizing, thinning and watering. The first thinning is carried out simultaneously with weeding of the cherkez 3-4 weeks after sowing at a distance of 5-7 cm. Only the head lettuce is thinned a second time 40-45 days after sowing. Plants obtained as a result of thinning are used as lettuce.

Agrotechnics romaine lettuce in the open field is the same as in late varieties of head lettuce, but in order to obtain a tender bleached head of cabbage and to improve bitterness in it, at the end of August or at the beginning of September, the ends of the leaves of the plant are raised up and tied over the head of cabbage.
When harvesting, lettuce is pulled out along with the roots, well shaken off the ground and tightly placed in boxes or sieves. The head lettuce is cut with a knife, the bottom dirty leaves are removed. Cut head lettuce is placed in a small tough container - boxes or baskets with the slices up.

Growing in greenhouses.

Leafy lettuce forms grown in all types of protected soil by sowing seeds in a permanent place. Sowing is carried out randomly or in an ordinary way with row spacing of 10 cm.

When grown under small-sized film shelters, sowing is carried out in 4-5 lines on a ridge. To obtain products in the early stages, sowing is carried out before winter or in early spring on ridges cut in the fall.

The lettuce harvest ripens in the 1st decade of June or the 3rd decade of May, depending on the weather, and reaches 1.5-2 kg per 1 m2.
For harvest head lettuce in the early spring period, it is not always advisable to occupy heated greenhouses due to the fact that the main crops (cucumber, tomato, zucchini) in this case have to be planted at a later date. This leads to a sharp decrease in the yield of these crops and its receipt at a later date.

Convenient film shelters, under which potted seedlings are planted on April 10-15 in 4-5 rows on a ridge with distances in a row of 20 cm. Plants are grown until May 10-15, and then the shelters are transferred to another crop.


Nutrients

Like other varieties, Romaine is rich in a variety of beneficial nutrients. Its leaves contain a lot of vitamin C (more than all salads), as well as a number of other vitamins (A, B, PP) and mineral salts (calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus). The plant is all the more valuable, because it can provide the body with valuable nutrients during the period when the need for them is greatest, that is, at the beginning of spring.


The mystery of the name

Romaine lettuce is a lettuce, or rather a variety of it. The name "lettuce" comes from the Latin word lac. Translated into Russian, it means “milk”. And the layman will not immediately guess what the matter is. It would seem that lettuce and dairy products are concepts from two completely different operas. Well, not really. The fact is that the stalks of romaine lettuce contain milky juice. It is quite simple to make sure of this: it is enough to break the plant and see how a milky liquid flows out of the veins.

It is believed that the ancient inhabitants of the Roman Empire and Egypt were the first to grow head lettuce. After all, it is not without reason that romaine salad got such a name. However, in the form in which we know the novel today, the Americans provided it to us. Californian breeders have been working on the look and taste of the culture for a long time.

By the way, another common name for the plant is kos-salad. Kos is a Greek island. Actually, the one on which, according to some historians and researchers, the first beds with crispy heads of cabbage were laid out.


Diseases and pests

Due to improper care, systematic waterlogging of the soil and an overabundance of fertilizers, Roman salad is affected by diseases: peronosporosis, powdery mildew, white and gray rot, marginal burn. Since romaine has the ability to accumulate toxins in the leaves, it is not safe to use toxic chemicals to treat plantings.

Preventive measures will help protect the crop from damage:

  • compliance with crop rotation,
  • immediate removal of infected instances,
  • cleaning of plant residues,
  • timely thinning of seedlings,
  • rational fertilization,
  • uniform regular watering.

Of the pests on romaine, lettuce fly, white-striped filly, stem lettuce aphid, slugs and snails parasitize. Against annoying insects, plantings are sprayed with infusion of garlic pulp, red pepper, onion peel or potato tops. For gastropods, bowls with dark beer are placed around the site, and then the mollusks gathered for a treat are destroyed.


Watch the video: Stop Buying Lettuce, 12 Tips To Grow Your Own Endless Supply