Salads are currently popular. One of them is Iceberg lettuce. This low-calorie healthy product attracts with its calm, neutral taste. It goes well with any sauces. At the same time, its resistance to low temperatures, unpretentiousness when grown in a country house and a decorative look attracts many summer residents.
Description and origin of iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is an early culture, ripening period 50-90 days, refers to the heading salads. Externally, it resembles an early, white cabbage. A rosette of light green leaves with a carved rim forms a small head of cabbage. 300-600 gr.
In taste, it is similar to Chinese cabbage, but differs in juicy and crispy leaves. These properties and attract in the preparation of cold snacks and in the design of dishes.
The plant has gained its distribution throughout the world thanks to American breeders. They received a culture in the early twentieth century. Currently grown in industrial volumes. Originally it was called "crispy salad." After its taste was appreciated.The average weight of Iceberg lettuce is 300-600 grams
Recommendations before sowing in the country
- Culture prefers loamy or sandy, neutral soil. Therefore, in order to reduce the acidity, dolomite flour, wood ash or limestone are introduced into the ground.
- For the prevention of plant diseases, planting is carried out according to the requirements for crop rotation. It is desirable that last year in the beds grow cabbage, potatoes, onions or grains.
- Salad - a culture that is able to accumulate nitrates in the leaves. Therefore, to make nitrate fertilizers should be with caution. It is better to fertilize before plantings with humus, compost, or from autumn with manure.
- Early ripening and decorative appearance allows you to grow not only as a monoculture in a separate garden bed. You can also grow together with potatoes, onions, carrots or in the rows of zucchini, cucumbers. While these cultures grow and gain strength, the salad will have time to ripen. A spectacular view with carved leaves is used in the decoration of flowerbeds with flowers.
- Choose sunny places or partial shade.
- Culture cold resistant and withstands frosts up to -2-6 degrees. Growth begins at +5 degrees. And optimal for active growth + 18 + 25 degrees.
- To increase the yield period can be sown in several stages, every 10-14 days.
- Seeds, a day before sowing, are recommended to germinate in a damp cloth.
Agrotechnics planting and cultivation of seeds
Sowing seeds in open ground
In the first half of April, preparing a bed. Well loosened and covered with covering material to warm the earth. When the positive temperatures have settled, in late April, early May on the bed they make rows 3 cm deep, after 40 cm. The earth is compacted and shed with water. Seeds are sown at a distance of 20-30 cm and covered with 1 cm of earth.Iceberg lettuce seeds
The row covered with foil. Shoots should be expected in 6-14 days. The lower the temperature, the longer the shoots.
Better to use peat or plastic cups. When transplanted into open ground, the root structure is not disturbed, and the culture takes root faster.
The soil is used shop or from a site, from the place of future landing. The ground in the cups is slightly compacted and seeded with 2-3 seeds, 1 cm is poured from above. Spill water and cover with a film to preserve moisture and heat.
Until shoots 4-5 days withstand the temperature + 16 + 17 degreesthen you can raise up to +25 degrees. After 3-4 weeks, in mid-May, when the plant will have 4-5 basic leaves, transplanted into open ground.
3-5 days before the planned transplantation, seedlings should be hardened. During the day, take out of the house to the street in partial shade, in a quiet place, without wind and drafts. In sunny places can get burned.3-5 days before planting in the ground seedlings need to harden
Transplanting seedlings in open ground
In a prepared, loose bed after 40 cm make rows of holes. In rows, the distance between the holes is 20-30 cm.
To make a neat, smooth hole of the desired depth and diameter, you can use a wide pointed tip. The earth in such holes will immediately condense.
Seedlings and holes well shed water. If the plant is removed from the cups, then by tapping or pressing the container lightly. In this case, peat cubes are good, from which you do not need to get a plant and can be planted directly into the ground.
Seedlings lightly sprinkle with earth. Deepen the root system is not worth it, because it has a surface type of growth. By planting seedlings in varying degrees of growth, you can stretch the harvest period. Stronger shoots will yield faster, weaker ones later.
Sowing before winter
Another option is to sow in late autumn. It is good because the spring ripening of lettuce occurs 10-15 days earlier, it is larger and stronger. But at the same time there is a risk of the part of the seeds freezing out. therefore increase the number of seeds for sowing in the winter 1.5 -2 times.
When the temperature outside is within +1 +3 degrees, seeds are put in the prepared bed. Buried by 1-1.5 cm. In this mode, the seeds will safely go before winter, they will not germinate. The bed is covered with dry grass, foliage and other covering material. Open in the spring when it is warm.
The main care is feeding, watering, loosening, weeding and thinning.
- Top dressing. Perform 1-2 times before sowing and during the formation of heads. The best option to combine with watering and feed organic
fertilizers. To do this, a solution of mullein or bird droppings (10 liters 1-2 tablespoons).
- Watering. Regular moderate watering is needed, abundant every other day or once a week. If the soil is dry, the heads of cabbages will be poorly formed; if it is wet, there is a risk of rot. After the formation of ovaries, watering is reduced.
- Loosening and weeding. Periodic loosening is shallow so as not to damage the roots. The first through 3-4 weeks after sowing. At the same time weeding from weeds.
- If shoots are thickened, then spend thinning in two stages. Without performing these works in time, the head will be poorly formed. The first time in the phase of one of these leaves, keep shoots after 4-5 cm. The second time in phase 6-7 of these leaves. Leave the plants every 20-30 cm.
In addition, the plant may be subject to diseases and pests.With the defeat of the iceberg vertex rot use a solution of calcium nitrate
At the end of growth, with a lack of calcium, a disease can occur. peak rot, inside the stalks. For prevention, spray once a week with a solution of calcium nitrate (100-150 grams per 12 liters of water).
At defeat cruciferous flea, pour plenty of water and sprinkle with wood ash. The procedure after 3-4 days to repeat.
The reasons for the lack of ovaries heads
Paying attention to proper planting and care, gardeners do not always wait for young heads. What is the reason?
- Insufficient watering. Until the formation of ovaries carry out regular watering.
- Shady landing site. The best place is sunny with penumbra.
- Temperature below +19 degreesespecially at night. It is necessary to shelter the plants. The best mode for forming is +20 +22 degrees.
- Temperature above +25 degrees. This leads to overriding, the acquisition of a bitter taste, flowering.
- Not enough sunny days.
- Thickened landing or on time was not carried out thinning.
If the average summer temperatures in the region are often higher than 25 degrees at the time of formation of the ovaries, then the crops should be planted earlier through seedlings or into closed ground (greenhouse).
Cutting and storage
Through 45-90 days after sowingwhen the cob diameter reaches 5-10 cm, there is a cut.
For the best preservation of the juiciness of the leaf plate, the harvest is collected early in the morning. Choose cabbages of average density. Young and loose poorly stored, and dense overripe inferior in taste.
- Plastic container and shut.
- In the wet cloth and in the package.
Interestingly, after cutting culture continues to grow. At the place of cutting, new ovaries grow on the radical neck. If desired, you can leave one for further growth.
Small cabbages with delicious, crispy Iceberg lettuce are increasingly conquering our taste preferences. Uncomplicated care, good preservation and the ability to grow this product, from spring to late autumn, has to plant it on your site.