The refreshing sight of a healthy crop of lettuce makes it a worthwhile vegetable to grow.Although it needs quite a bit of consistent care, the reward of green, healthy and leafy vegetables is well worth the effort.Planting before taking a soil test may not give you the desired results when cultivating lettuce.It will help verify if the soil has ideal properties to sustain healthy growth of lettuce plants.It will help you determine more accurately what aspect of the soil needs to be addressed to support healthy growth.If you plant without taking a soil test, you are likely to encounter problems later that could have been addressed earlier.However, it may be the case that your soil is already fairly rich in nutrients and the lettuce will not require much more additional fertilizer.As the mulch breaks down over time, the soil receives supplemental nutrients which is beneficial for your lettuce. .
Should I water my lettuce every day?
If it feels moist to the touch and earth sticks to your fingers, the ground is still damp, and plants do not yet need to be watered.If the ground is drying out too quickly and failing to retain sufficient water for your lettuce plants, consider adding a layer of mulch about two inches thick. .
This will ensure that the dirt won’t splash up on your plant and cover its base.A good rule of thumb is checking the soil right beneath the surface for dampness.This is the season when the lettuce plant is the most prone to going to seed or wilting down, so providing it with water regularly is important.Lettuce is often a tough vegetable to grow during the summer, as it requires regular watering through the heat. .
How to Water Lettuce
Lettuce seeds are tiny and must be sown shallowly at just 1/8 inch deep, according to Cornell University, which puts them at an increased risk of dislodging when they are watered.Moisture stress is a contributing factor to bolting in lettuce, but providing abundant water will help keep the leaves sweet tasting with a good texture.The Utah State University Extension recommends providing 1 to 2 inches of water each week during the growing season depending on the soil type and daily temperatures.Row covers or a layer of organic mulch, such as grass clippings or straw, will help prevent moisture stress while also keeping weeds at bay.Most common lettuce problems can be avoided by providing the best irrigation system for lettuce – that is, frequent light watering at the base of the plants, a moderate layer of mulch between the rows to conserve soil moisture and row covers in warmer climates where temperatures fluctuations are common. .
Lettuce Is Easy, but Calls for Lots of Water and Fertilizer
While beets or even beans may spend a lot of time on the bench waiting to get in the game, lettuce gets in on every scrimmage, from salads to sandwiches.Finding a spot, preparing the ground and planting are no more than a morning’s work and all you need from the nursery is a sack or two of soil amendment and a packet of seed.Water and fertilizer are the only secrets to growing lettuce, as illustrated by a recent find in a bundle brought home from the market.Pity the poor New Yorker who must wait six days for his lettuce to make the trip from California on a slow freight.You can plant them closer and many gardeners really pack them in, but in my experience you will have more trouble with snails, slugs and earwigs, which are the principal pests of lettuce.It is also very important to keep the area around the lettuce patch free of debris where these creatures can hide and breed: Make it a no-man’s land of sorts.In summer, this may mean watering several times a day at first, which may suggest that adding a sprinkler system to your lettuce bed is not too bad an idea.The variety was named “Los Angeles Market,” then renamed “Iceberg” by the shipping trade that sent it back east on iced reefers. .
From Lettuce to Beef, What's the Water Footprint of Your Food?
TreeHugger has been highlighting various aspects of the worldwide water crisis, so it seems appropriate to look at the water footprint of common food items.Keeping in mind that the water footprint of you food is only a part of the environmental impact of your diet --land use, fertilizer use and whether those are chemical or organic, how far and by what method your food is shipped, social considerations regarding land use are all also components--here's how much water your food consumes: Note: In general these figures have been derived from work done by Waterfootprint.org and represent gallons of water consumed per pound of food (except for beverages, whose volumes are listed). They represent global averages, not specific conditions in any one place.Samira Sharezay / EyeEm / Getty Images.If you want to really reduce the water footprint of your food then eating a diet where fruits, veggies and grains for the vast majority of your calories is clearly the way to go--it also happens to be healthier, cheaper and better for carbon emissions, by the way.This is where water intensity really starts increasing.If you want to reduce the water footprint of your diet, this is where you want to really cut back:.Beef -- 2500-5000 gallons; (Global figures for the water intensity of beef vary so significantly that an average isn't particularly informative, so a range of figures is given).You want something to drink and keep your water footprint as low as possible? .
Space lettuce plants 6 to 18 inches apart (depending on the variety) in an area that gets an abundance of sun and has fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.Well-hydrated lettuce will bear tender leaves, so keep moisture levels consistent by watering whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry.Prevent weeds and make your watering efforts last longer by applying a thick layer of mulch made from finely ground leaves or bark.In fact, a spring crop often lasts longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season warms. .
How much water does a lettuce plant need?
Lettuce requires plenty of water in order to thrive.Head and leafy lettuce types require about 1 inches of water (27,225 gallons) per week per acre.Although lettuce grows fastest in full sun, it is one of the few vegetables that tolerates some shade.In fact, a spring crop often lasts longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season warms. .
19 Water-Rich Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated
In fact, not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, headaches, skin problems, muscle cramps, low blood pressure and a rapid heart rate ( 1 ). .
the Water Footprint of Food
Animals that are factory farm- or feedlot-raised (which the majority of livestock in this country are) consume feed that is primarily composed of corn and soy, both of which rely on high amounts of irrigation and rainwater – the blue and green water footprints.Irrigation comes from surface and groundwater sources that are often also claimed by other users like energy companies and urban areas or are required to keep aquatic habitats healthy.By contrast, animals that are raised on pasture eat forage which primarily relies on rainwater – the green water footprint.It is also worth noting that while most produce has a lower water footprint than meat, certain items like nuts can have high irrigation requirements.This was especially problematic during the extreme drought in California due to the water required to keep nut trees healthy and producing.Regenerative agriculture, permaculture and organic farming aim to use resources wisely to improve the quality and productivity of soil so that it retains moisture, minimizing the need for excessive irrigation.Recent technological advances in hydroponic, aquaponic, aeroponic and vertical farming make it possible to grow produce very efficiently, minimizing water use in a variety of locations.While no one farming method is perfect, they all can work together to create local and regional food systems that build agricultural resilience.Activities like taking a refrigerator inventory before you shop, meal planning, using leftovers and composting can make a huge dent in the amount of food (and water) that is wasted on a daily basis. .