HOW TO GROW ROMEN SALAD?
Romaine lettuce is one of the lowest calorie vegetables: only 17 kcal/100 g. The leaves contain salts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, as well as trace elements - zinc, copper, manganese, selenium. The health pantry also contains fiber, proteins, beta-carotene, malic acid, a complex of vitamins, including anti-sclerotic choline (vitamin BJ.
This salad can be grown by direct sowing in open ground, and it is best before winter, due to the extremely high cold resistance of the plants. And in the spring, crispy vitamin leaves and half-heads of cabbage are ready for harvesting 2 weeks earlier than with spring sowings.
The name romaine (salade romaine) is Roman salad (synonyms: romaine, romaine), associated with its historical homeland - Italy, from where it began to spread throughout Europe 2000 years ago, and then throughout the world.
ROMAIN CLOSE UP
The variety of seeded romaine lettuce was originally called red, although the head at the base is green (by the way, it can be bleached), and the leaf blades are rich red-violet or bright green in color.
We're basically we grow an early ripening hybrid F1 Turinus Dutch selection (25-30 days from mass germination to first harvest). The leaves are a sight to behold: glossy, crispy, slightly bubbly, corrugated, less often whole at the edges, completely without grooves, the inner ones are oily. The half-head is loose, elongated-oval, in fact it is a lush leaf rosette, weighing about 400 g.
F1 Turinus has many advantages: fast growth, high yield - more than 6 kg/sq.m. m, excellent taste, resistance to disease and color, as well as a long shelf life (does not spoil in the refrigerator for up to 35 days).
Another advantage is early maturity and “settledness”; lettuce can be grown in one place for several years in a row.
TO SLEEP PEACEFULLY UNTIL SPRING
Seeds do not need special processing, we purchase coated ones, which is more reliable. The end of October - mid-November is considered in our zone the optimal period for winter crops, but you need to monitor the weather forecast. We sow when the soil temperature at a depth of about 5 cm has dropped to 3-5°, and the air temperature remains in the range from 1-2° to zero. This means that in a week or a week and a half the real cold will come, the seeds will no longer be able to germinate and will have to wait for spring warmth. This kind of sowing has long been called “on a shard” - frozen top layer of earth.
Romaine prefers open, well-lit areas - shading leads to premature appearance of flower stalks. Likes soils that are loose, rich in organic matter, neutral or slightly alkaline (pH 6-5). Fertilizers containing chlorine cannot be applied to it - plants lag behind in development and get sick more often.
We prepare the plot in about a month and a half, after harvesting the predecessors (onions, corn, beets, bush beans, radishes), removing weeds and plant debris. Before digging, use a spade to fill the beds with humus or half-rotted compost - up to 3 kg/sq. m with the addition of 2 teaspoons of superphosphate and 1 teaspoon of potassium and magnesium sulfates. If you need additional leavening agent (sawdust, sand), you need to mix it with fertilizer. On acidic soils, it is necessary to additionally add dolomite or bone meal (400-600 g/sq. m). We cover the prepared area with non-fabric on the arches so that it does not get washed away by rain or fall asleep with the first snow.
We level the surface of the ridge, form transverse grooves about 2 cm deep with an interval of 20 cm. Some of the seeds inevitably lose their germination, so we increase the seeding rate to 3 g/sq. m. The seeds are small; for uniform sowing they are mixed with sand (1:5).
We close the furrows and sprinkle dry, loose soil on top so that the seedlings can more easily overcome the top layer of soil that has become compacted over the winter. Watering is excluded, the seeds may wake up out of season and rot, but should sleep until spring.
ROMEN SALAD – GROWING QUICKLY WITH MINIMUM HASS
Winter romaine lettuce has high germination energy; in the spring it sprouts vigorously already at 5°C, at which time the plants are fully provided with moisture from melt water. It is only necessary to provide for the possibility of covering the crops with agrofibre to protect them from frost. Romain loves moisture. Plants, when thirsty, slow down their growth and begin to taste bitter. It is better to water by sprinkling or using a watering can when the soil surface dries out. We combine watering with regular loosening of row spacing.
In the phase of 3-4 true leaves, we thin out the crops to a distance of 7-10 cm, and remove the removed plants directly into the salad. The next, final thinning is by 15-20 cm, when the rosettes increase in size. After it, add potassium nitrate (20-30 g/sq. m) and superphosphate (10-20 g/sq. m), then water. You can feed with mullein infusion diluted with water (1:10).
The salad ripens quickly, so it does not need an enhanced diet. In the phase of 2 true leaves, a “rain” of urea is indicated (1 teaspoon per 10 liters of water).
The main lettuce has specific enemies - lettuce fly and stem lettuce aphid. Chemistry is unacceptable for green people, so we use the biomethod. For flies, spray with onion peel infusion several times: (200 g/10 l of water, leave for 10-12 hours). Against aphids, we dust with tobacco dust mixed with wood ash (1:1), but the collected greens must be washed thoroughly.
We start harvesting in the phase of 5-7 leaves, then the taste deteriorates.
Romaine salad wonderfully diversifies the daily menu. It is eaten fresh, baked, for example, with ham, egg, cheese, stewed, used for soups, cabbage roll wrappers, and as a decoration for dishes.
Ideal for Caesar salad, and large leaves are good for hamburgers. The piquant bitterness and nutty notes of the greens allow you to do without salt.
Reference by topic: Types of lettuce - growing, planting and care from A to Z
HOW TO GROW ROMEN SALAD - VIDEO
© Author: V. RUSSIAN
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