Social Icons

September 17, 2011

How to replant lettuce

It is September, and we can start seeding and planting lettuce. Granted, in Central Florida the days are still very hot and young lettuce seedlings might not survive the heat and harshness of the soil. I am a big advocate of seeding in nursery containers and then replanting into the 16-oz styrofoam cups instead of seeding into the ground. The obvious exceptions would be radish, beets, carrots, beans and peas. In other words, vegetables that would take too much work seeding and replanting, as they are pretty resilient as is.

In Central Florida the optimum time to seed lettuce is the beginning of October, but I wanted to get an early start, so I seeded in nursery containers, namely some blue styrofoam trays that they sell mushrooms in. Once lettuce is sprouted and is starting to show first true leaves, it is time to replant it. The process is quite easy. Get yourself a table spoon and some bowl where the seedlings will be held while being replanted. With a table spoon pick up a portion of the seedling mess from the bottom and reposition into the bowl:

Sprinkle some soil into the indentation to keep the remaining roots moist and covered.

Be careful with the young seedlings. Separate them from each other by gently crumbling the soil that contains multiple seedlings. The point here is to separate the seedlings, not yank them. Their roots are very gentle, so be careful. I have to mention though that lettuce plans are quite resilient. Not saying that you can be rough on them, but you don't have to be scared either. As long as you don't break the stem and don't yank the plant from the root base, the plant will survive and do quite well.

Now, get yourself some 16-oz styrofoam cups, break drainage holes on the bottom, and fill them about half way with potting mix:

Gently separate one seedling from the bunch, lower it into the container holding by the leaves, not the stem, and fill with the dirt up to the leaves:

Finally, place containers into a bowl filled with water so that the cups suck up the water from the bottom instead of being watered overhead, which can lead to having some dry pockets. I would not be offended though if you sprinkled some water on top of the plant to speed up the process.

And this is it, my friends. Now put these cups under the tree or other source of dappled shade and you don't have to worry about replanting them into the ground until you have time. These plants can stay in the cups until they are four to six inches tall with no problem.


Post a Comment


Florida Gardening

Florida Gardening Blog

Visitors from all over the world

Grow Your Own Food

Grow your own food, be independent, healthy and happy.