Step by step: sowing lamb's lettuce

Step by step: sowing lamb's lettuce

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Lamb's lettuce is a small winter salad with round leaves. It is one of the rare fresh vegetables that can be eaten during this period when nature is at rest. It can be sown as a cover crop - that is, between the rows of another crop such as leeks or cauliflowers - but can just as easily grow in a space reserved for it. The planting period varies according to the varieties, but it is more traditionally during the month of August that sowing is carried out. Tufts can be harvested by cutting them at the collar (at ground level) using a simple knife or using scissors. Harvesting usually begins in late November and continues until April. However, they should be covered with dead leaves or a forcing veil to protect them from the winter cold if you want to eat them with the turkey. Land preparation is rudimentary but important. The soil must be firm, for this reason it is useless to work it in depth, a simple weeding is sufficient. No need to dig, only the top layer of the soil will be loosened with a rake or claw. The seeds will be sown on the fly or in a row and covered with fine soil which will be packed with the back of the rake (if sown in a row) or by trampling the plot (if sown on the fly) to ensure perfect contact seeds with the earth. Difficulty: easy Cost : around € 3 per sachet. Tools required : - a rake or a claw - a mulching or a forcing veil - a watering can

Step 1: Weed the plot

Remove stones and unwanted grasses. Scratch the soil to loosen it superficially.

Step 2: Scratch the ground to loosen it

To a depth of just a few centimeters, loosen the soil so that you can trace furrows.
Using the end of the handle of the rake or the claw, trace a small furrow of one centimeter in the ground.
If the ground is bare, there is every chance that the unwanted weeds will occupy the free space. Also it is preferable to sow in line in order to see more clearly during the inevitable weeding of the following weeks, or quite simply to carry out a global mulching which will save us from maintenance.

Step 3: Sow online or on the fly

If gardening is a job of patience, now is the time to prove that you are in no rush. Every half centimeter or centimeter place a seed, and so on. Otherwise, sow on the fly, but not too thick.
As we have just made 3 furrows, we sow 3 different varieties. This will allow you to select the chosen one for the following season, that is to say the one that will develop most favorably depending on local constraints but also on their flavor.
In all cases, locate your rows with small pieces of wood in order to know where your seedlings are but also to make the distinction between unwanted weeds and young lettuce shoots.
Optional: don't forget the labels upstream of each row in order to find your way around. They can be offered in the bag - made of weather-resistant plastic - or made by hand on a piece of slate or using a marker. If your bag is empty, plant a small wooden stake, put it upside down on the stake and put a plastic bag over it to protect it, this way, you will not have to search very far to find the mark and the variety of seed that will have chosen your preference.

Step 4: Close and pack the soil

With your hand, gently cover the grooves. Remove the stones if there are any left.
Pack the grooves you just covered with the back of the rake. If you have sown on the fly, lightly claw the soil to bury the seeds and tamp down by trampling on the spot.

Step5: Water

Water the seedlings copiously.

Step 6: Protect the seedlings

Lamb's lettuce grows more easily in shaded terrain. It is for this reason that it is planted either as a cover crop between the rows of other larger vegetables, or by using an adequate cover, such as straw or a light forcing veil allowing a little light to pass through. This also helps to combat water evaporation. In winter, dead leaves are better suited for frost protection.

Step 7: Watch

About ten days later, the first subjects timidly stick their noses out.
Sixty to ninety days later, it's time to harvest.


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