Lettuce Great Select CS by Continental Seeds Company is an easy to grow seeds, that produces nutritious and delicious low fat lettuce. The lettuce produced have a number of essential nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, antioxidants, folic acid, potassium and fibre. These nutrients have various health benefits such as reducing the risk of contracting cancer, prevent eye cataracts, avoiding complications during pregnancy, prevent heart disease and encourage weight loss among other benefits. These seeds can be grown all year round with constant watering and weeding to maximize your yield.
Basic information on planting Lettuce
Nursery establishment & management
- A nursery bed measures 1m length x 10-15cm drill. The drills should be 3-4cm in depth for small seeded vegetable to facilitate faster and uniform germination.
- To enhance early strong seedlings it’s important to use fine well compost manure (from goats, cow, and pigs) mixed thoroughly with the soil.
Note: Chicken manure not recommended for use in the nursery because of very high levels of nitrogen that inhabits proper roots formation and establishment. Chicken manure is ideal for use at the top dressing stage.
- Recommended raising seedlings in the nursery bed for 3 – 4 weeks before transplanting to the main field at pencil- thick stage.
Note: Seedlings can be transplanted into smaller poly bags, 2 weeks after germination and later transplanted into the main field, 2 – 3 weeks later and this reduces drastically the transplanting shock and allow faster establishment in the main field.
- Drench nursery bed with insecticides to prevent early plant attacks by soil and sucking pests.
- Watering in the nursery recommended early morning to mid morning but not in the evening. Evening watering encourages pythium activities that cause dumping off.
- Transplanting is usually recommended when the sun is not very hot i.e. early morning or late afternoon. This helps to reduce transplanting shock arising from the seedling evapotranspiration.
- Important to have well compost manure mixed a compound fertilizer especially with adequate phosphorous in a hole where the young plant is planted. This helps in faster roots formation and establishment hastening plant growth reducing possible repetitive gapping.
- Standard spacing usually vary with the growing system and also the brassica crop:
45 x 30cm or 30 x 30cm for optimal production.
- Drench seedlings during transplanting with an insecticide to prevent early attack by aphids, whiteflies, thrips and cut worms.
- Brassicas grows in many types of soil but for maximum production they should be planted in deep soils to facilitate good root penetration. They are heavy nutrients extractors from the soil and thus require periodic replenishment through manure addition or artificial fertilizer but at the correct proportions in line with the requirements and soil deficit.
Note: Ensure crop is grown in a fertile land, use manure to enrich soil with nutrients or apply base fertilizer rich in phosphorous at planting period such as N: P: K at 10gms per hole as general application.
Note: Confirm soil nutrient levels through soil analysis to help determine deficit elements.
a) Fertilizer requirement: Top dressing
Recommended to top dress the plants 3-4 weeks after transplanting with complete fertilizer i.e. N.P.K. at rate of 10gms per plant and second top dress split repeat 2 – 3 weeks with C.A.N or other fertilizers rich in nitrogen, from the first top dress at the rate of 5 – 10gms per plant depending on the soil fertility levels. Depending with nutrients levels in the soil a third top dressing split can be applied with N.P.K (5-10gms per plant).
b) Foliar Fertilizer
Foliar fertilizers can be used to supplement soil applied fertilizer especially during periods of crop stress e.g. hot periods and during heavy rains that hamper proper nutrients update through the roots.
Common pests and diseases during various stages of brassicas (cabbages, Pak choi, cauliflower, lettuce, broccoli, e.t.c) crops growth
Common disease(s) – Dumping off caused by pythium spp., and phytophthora blight
Common pest(s) – Aphids, whiteflies, leaf miner and cut worms
Vegetative stage & mature stage:
Common diseases – Downy mildew (Peronospora parasitica), Black Rot (Xanthomonas campestris), Bacterial Soft Rot (Erwinia spp.), Ring Spot (Mycoshaerella brasicicola) and phytophthora Root Rot (phytophthora megasperma), e.t.c.
Common pest(s) – aphids, cabbage saw fly, Diamond Back Moth (DBM), thrips, and leaf miner, e.t.c.
Note: Use the most appropriate fungicides or insecticides as per observed disease and pest (consult the agrochemical dealers for appropriate active ingredient to help manage the disease and pest challenges or call our office for some suggestions from our experience).
Lettuce seeds are not complicated to grow as they tend to do well in most climatic conditions. Even though they are versatile, a higher yield is usually obtained in well draining and humus soils. The spoils should be able to retain some moisture and be rich in potassium and nitrogen. The soils used to grow these seeds should be enriched with organic matter and have a PH of between 6.0 and 6.8 for maxim production under ideal conditions.