Improved cultivation of leafy lettuce
Lettuce leaf is an important exotic crop. Like other vegetables, it is also grown all over India. Its raw leaves are used as salad and vegetable like carrot, radish, beet and onion. China is the largest producer of leafy lettuce in the world. This crop is mainly grown in winters. It gives very good yield in extreme cold and grows fast. The leafy lettuce crop is mostly grown commercially and the raw and large leaves of the crop are used as the main salad in large hotels and homes.
The leaves of this crop are very famous for salad. By consuming leafy salad, the body gets more amount of minerals and vitamins. It is the main source of Vitamin ‘A’. Apart from this, protein, carbohydrates, calcium and vitamin ‘C’ are also available.
What should be the land and climate?
Cool weather climate is best for lettuce crop. When the temperature is high, the seeds start forming and the taste of the leaves changes, so its temperature is 12 to 15 degree centigrade. Fertile land is the best for the crop. Light sandy loam and clay loam soils are perfect. The soil should have the ability to hold water, so that the moisture remains constant.
Farming preparation and fertilizers
The land should be plowed 2-3 times with earth turning plow or 3-4 country plow or tractor. It is good to make the field lump-free and crumbly. After every plowing, weeding should be done. For salad, put 15-20 trolley per hectare of rotted cow dung in the field and mix it in the soil. Chemical fertilizers should be used carefully. 120 kg nitrogen, 60 kg phosphate and 80 kg potash should be given per hectare.
right time of sowing
Prepare nursery in the month of mid-September to mid-November. The distance of seeds sown in nursery is 15-20 cm. Keep it Seeds take 3-4 days to germinate. After germination, keep the lettuce in sunlight for 3-4 hours every day in the morning. When the seeds are 4-6 weeks old, plant them in the field.
Harmful pests and prevention
Chepa: If infestation of sucking insects like Chepa is observed, take spray of Imidacloprid 17.8 SL @ 60 ml per acre in 150 liters of water.
Spot and Pied disease: Use resistant variety of spot disease. Pied disease is a seed borne disease, so for the cultivation of leaf lettuce, use seeds free from this disease.
when to harvest
This crop is harvested when the leaf is fully developed and reaches the sale size. Soft leaves can be harvested after an interval of one week. Harvesting of the crop should be stopped in late March and early April, its leaves come in milky stage.
To get the seeds, the harvesting of the crop should be finished in the month of May. It gives 50 kg per acre of seed. For tip varieties, harvest the crop when the ends are fully developed. Harvesting can be done by hand and by cutting the plant above the soil surface. Harvesting of the crop should be done in the morning, this will keep the leaves fresh.
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