Pick a location in your garden that receives full sun with loamy soil that drains well, and has a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. About a week before you plant the lettuce, mix about a cup of compost into the soil for each head of lettuce.
Water the romaine lettuce frequently, but lightly. Each plant needs an inch of water weekly. The lettuce will wilt if it becomes too dry. You want the soil to stay moist, but not waterlogged. Too much water can lead to rotting of the roots. Avoid watering the leaves, as wet leaves can develop white or gray mold.
Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of an organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, to the soil to trap in moisture and keep the soil temperature cooler when the weather starts to warm up.
Feed the lettuce every few weeks by side-dressing with compost. Measure a hand’s width away from the plant and place a few tablespoons of the compost a few inches deep into the soil.
Pull up any weeds that pop up around the lettuce by hand. If you try to hoe or rake the weeds up, you risk damaging the lettuce’s roots.
Use a jet of water to knock any aphids you see off of the plant. Slugs can also be a problem on Romaine lettuce. Pick the slugs off of the plant when you see them and drown them in soapy water. Set out shallow dishes full of beer to trap the slugs if you don’t want to touch them.
Harvest the lettuce when the head is about 4 inches in diameter and 8 inches tall. The leaves should overlap to form a somewhat dense head. Either pull the entire head up from the soil or use a garden knife to cut it from the base.
Things You Will Need
Trowel or shovel
Shallow bowl (optional)
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