View Full Version : Growing Lettuces

02-18-2009, 08:52 AM
Hi all,
I have a bed that is about 2/3 full of winter lettuces. Its time, maybe past time, to plant my summer ones and I am wondering what to do.

I have the option of just continuing to plant my summer lettuces in this same bed. To me that would mean amending the soil in the empty spots and then replanting as the plants wear out.

My question is, how much do lettuces deplete the soil> Would I be better off starting in a new bed that I know will get plenty of organic compost, or, should I just build up the soil in this bed as I go?

Maybe a better way to ask this question - do I need to rotate my lettuce plantings?

Growing Boy
02-18-2009, 10:21 AM
I generally always rotate my plantings just to avoid any type of disease problems. Lettuce uses a fair amount of nitrogen but if the soil is in good shape it should last the season. If you want to grow your spring lettuce in the same area a little side dressing should do the trick. I use chicken manure in small amounts mixed with compost or if my local rabbit farmer is rich in droppings I use that. My dear wife swears by alfalfa cubes. (Available at your local feed store.)

02-18-2009, 01:07 PM
Since my raise bed space is very limited, rotating is not always an option. I would dig out maybe 1/2 of what you have planted, ammend with some good compost and replant. When this is of harvest size, rip out the other half and repeat. Next year rotate to another bed if possible....that is if you do not have any disease problems already in that area. If that is the case I would move my bed somewhere else. Kim

02-19-2009, 12:49 PM
I too have had the dillema of whether to pull productive lettuce plants to plant new stuff. Last year I didn't until I had replacements ready to harvest. Of course I have more space than I need.

As for amending soil, I just amend with a 1 inch layer of fresh compost and work it in gently. I also have a home made blend of 50% bloodmeal (nitrogen) and 50% All Purpose veggie fertilizer (5-10-10). I may side dress with that or even sprinkle a tad in before I plant. I'm not too exact with it. Maybe over time as my soil ages I will need to be. Who knows.

Good luck!