Lettuce Companion Plants | How to Grow Lettuce

If you plan to plant and grow your lettuce, you’ll need to know more about lettuce companion plants. Did you know that a garden can be a lot like a schoolyard? Some plants can be each other’s best friends, while others won’t like each other.

 

Believe it or not, when you plant onions and peas next to each other, you won’t be able to achieve your desired results because they’re not chemically beneficial. In other words, they will cause harm to each other. One or both would hog nutrients, block the wind, and attract bugs that would damage the other.

 

On the other hand, if you plant companion plants next to each other, you’ll be surprised at how much they would help each other thrive. Perhaps one or both of them will attract pollinators, add much-needed nutrients to the soil, and offer weed control and shade to the other plant.

How to Grow Lettuce

Before we dive into the world of companion planting, let’s have a closer look at the lettuce.

 

A Closer Look at the Lettuce

 

You might be surprised to find out that the lettuce (Lactuca sativa) belongs to the daisy family. Although the lettuce is an annual plant that looks a lot like cabbage, it’s not as tough as its look-alike, and it contains more water. Although it requires low temperatures to keep the plant from flowering, it can be easily cultivated. 

 

Did you know that lettuce one cup or 36 grams will only give you about 10 grams of sodium, five calories, and 5 grams of fiber? You’ll also get 78% of the daily value of vitamin K, 53% of the daily value of vitamin A, 11% of the daily value of vitamin C, 5% of the daily value of manganese 3% of the daily amount of folate, and 2% of the daily value of iron. Furthermore, lettuce is devoid of cholesterol and fat; that’s why it’s a great idea to include this in your diet if you’re trying to lose weight.

 

Top Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Lettuce

 

Have you ever used lettuce in your sandwiches, wraps, salads, or soups? You can get a lot of nutrients and antioxidants from this leafy green. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your risk of heart disease, control inflammation, enhance your brain health, etc., you can never go wrong if you increase your lettuce intake.

 

If you’re still on the fence about incorporating this vegetable into your diet, check out these top reasons why you should start eating it:

 

It aids in weight loss

 

If you’re trying to maintain a low-calorie diet so that you could lose weight, you need to consider adding lettuce into your meals. Doing so will help you bridge the micronutrient gap that’s challenging to achieve with the kind of diet that you’re trying to follow. Since it contains fiber, it works to keep you feeling full, promote good digestion, and help you avoid binging. 

 

It helps keep your heart healthy

 

Since lettuce has is a good source of vitamin C, it helps you steer clear of arterial stiffness, and it also aids in the treatment of heart disease. Experts claim that eating lettuce can help prevent the occurrence of myocardial infarction or a heart attack. It strengthens the arteries and prevents the buildup of plaque in the heart. To top it all off, consuming lettuce is also associated with the enhancement of cholesterol metabolism, reduction of bad cholesterol, and the increase of good cholesterol and antioxidants.

 

It controls inflammation

 

Aside from the fact that lettuce contains proteins such as lipoxygenase that are responsible for fighting inflammation, it also ample amounts of vitamins A, E, and K that helps reduce any signs of inflammation. Keep in mind that the darker the lettuce is, the more antioxidants it contains, and the more effective it is in controlling inflammation.

 

It enhances brain health

 

Did you know that when a person’s brain health deteriorates, it can trigger the development of Alzheimer’s disease? Lettuce is a rich source of dietary nitrate which converted to nitric oxide that enhances endothelial function. The increase in endothelial function is closely linked to a person’s cognitive enhancement and the prevention of severe brain diseases that are related to aging.

 

It promotes proper digestion

 

Since lettuce has high fiber content, it can help you improve your digestion and avoid bloating, constipation, and stomach pain. 

 

It improves bone health

 

Did you know that vitamins A, K, and C are equally important in collagen production? In case you’re not aware, collagen plays an important role during the first phase of bone formation. Lettuce has vitamin A which helps develop new bone cells, vitamin K, which builds connective tissues and cartilage, and vitamin C, which prevents bone depletion secondary to aging.

 

It can help you sleep better

 

Anyone who has insomnia should eat more lettuce because it contains lactucarium and lactucin, which promotes sleep and relaxation. If you find it hard to fall asleep at night, consider adding lettuce to your dinner salad. 

 

It fights anemia

 

Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia that’s characterized by very large due to underdeveloped red blood cells. As mentioned earlier, lettuce contains folate. This helps fight megaloblastic anemia.

 

It keeps your vision sharp

 

Lettuce contains the xanthophyll called lutein and the antioxidant called zeaxanthin. Since both substances help improve vision health, incorporating lettuce into your regular diet will steer clear macular degeneration and cataract formation closely related to aging.

 

The Different Types of Lettuce 

 

As you check out the option at the salad bar, perhaps you’re wondering which type of lettuce is the best one for your salad or sandwich. It’s important to note that different types of lettuce offer varying levels of nutrients. 

 

However, it doesn’t matter which type you mix into your dishes because each lettuce can still give you a big nutritional boost. To learn more about the different kinds of lettuce, check this out:

 

Romaine Lettuce

 

If you want to give your meal a robust crunch, pick romaine lettuce. With its sweet and sturdy center and its long and slightly bitter leaves, it can stand up to any kind of dressing – from your vinaigrette to blue cheese. Some people even choose to grill this type of lettuce because its texture is so sturdy.

 

Butterhead Lettuce

 

There are two different kinds of butterhead lettuce – Bibb and Boston. While a Bibb is sweet and its size is about as small as the size of a fist, Boston is much larger and fluffier with softer leaves that easily bruise.  Both varieties are great for cooking shrimp or ground chicken.

 

Radicchio

 

Sometimes called Italian chicory or leaf chicory, radicchio is mostly purple in color. When roasted or grilled, this type of lettuce tastes sweet. However, when it’s eaten fresh, it can have a slightly bitter flavor.

 

Leaf Lettuce

 

Leaf lettuce can be tender green, mild red, or spicy and nutty oak. Compared to other kinds of lettuce, this variety tends to be more perishable. Thus, make sure that you avoid instant wilting by serving it right after you dress it.

 

Arugula

 

Some people call this salad green Italian cress. It has a peppery-tasting quality to it, which tends to balance out your lemony dressings. Others even stuff this in their sandwich or on top of their pizza.

 

What is Companion Planting

 

Now that you know more about this green leafy vegetable, it’s time to move on to the ancient concept of companion planting. This refers to planting various plants near each other to encourage pollination and pest control while providing an ideal environment for beneficial insects, increasing plant productivity, and maximizing the use of space.

 

The Benefits of Companion Planting

 

It’s a good gardening practice to certain group plants if you know they need growing conditions similar to each other or if they’re beneficial to one another. Besides increasing the diversity of your garden, companion planting will also provide you with the following benefits:

 

It regulates shade and wind

 

You’re probably aware that it’s never a good idea to give tender and fragile plants too much sun. With companion planting, you can group these plants with taller plants that could offer them shelter. Likewise, you can protect your smaller plants from harsh winds if you position them alongside taller and larger plants.

 

It optimizes soil

 

Did you know that any plant’s root system can affect the soil that it’s planted in? For instance, carrots and parsnips with long taproots tend to lift the nutrients that are found from the deeper parts of the soil. This can benefit other plants that have shallow root systems.

 

Moreover, certain plants such as peas and beans can draw nitrogen in to make it even more available in the soil where other plants may need it.  

 

It provides natural supports

 

Companion planting allows you to use taller plants as a trellis for your sprawling crops. Your snap peas and cucumbers will find natural support if you plant them alongside the taller and stronger sunflowers. 

 

It prevents weed growth

 

When you alternate sprawling plants with upright ones, you’ll create a cover that’s thicker across most parts of the open land in your garden. This will do wonders at preventing weed growth.

 

It promotes plant health

 

When you grow plants right next to their companions, you help boost the health of both plants. Instead of competing with each other, they’ll support each other’s growth. When companion planting is done right, the soil’s entire biochemistry changes, and you’ll be able to harvest plants with better quality and taste.

 

The Best Companion Plants for Lettuce

 

Like other types of vegetables, lettuce also has its own list of suitable companions that could range from flowers to aromatic herbs to plants. These include carrots, beets, chervil, eggplant, melons and squash, nasturtiums, turnips, radishes, parsnips, asparagus, chives, garlic, mints, onions, and shallots, as well as cilantro.

 

Should You Grow Your Plants in a Greenhouse?

 

If you want to ensure optimum plant growth in a controlled environment, then the answer is yes. Here are some of the best reasons why you should grow your plants in a greenhouse:

 

It provides an ideal environment for plant growth

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re growing your lettuce alongside herbs, vegetables, or flowers – a greenhouse can help you provide all of your plants with enough heat, warmth, and water vapor that can further enhance their growth.

 

It provides plant protection

 

When you plant your lettuce and its companion plants inside a greenhouse, you can be sure that they’ll be protected from harsh weather conditions and pest infestations. 

 

You can have an all-season garden

 

Growing your plants inside a greenhouse also means being able to garden all-year-round. In case you’re wondering, a greenhouse can trap the warmth of the sun, your plants will enjoy consistent temperature inside the greenhouse even in the winter. 

 

It provides a designated spot for all of your gardening tools

 

Since a greenhouse can also serve as a storage area for your gardening supplies, tools, accessories, and equipment, you can eliminate the need to build a garden shed. In other words, a greenhouse can be your own all-in-one gardening spot.

 

You’ll have more plant options

 

Did you know that if you have a greenhouse, you’ll be able to grow individual plants that aren’t even native to your area? Compared to the outdoors, a greenhouse can offer a more humid and warmer environment for your plants. Thanks to the consistent insulation and heat inside it, a greenhouse enables you to plant exotic plants and warm-season vegetables, as long as you know the conditions that these plants need.

 

Conclusion

 

After learning a lot about the advantages of planting lettuce companion plants alongside your favorite green leafy vegetables and the benefits of growing them in a greenhouse, the next step is to get in touch with us at Krostrade. We’ll provide you with top-quality greenhouses that are perfect for your unique needs. Check out our products today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to our newsletter!