Spring Gardening Basics: Grow Your Own Lettuce

Spring is that time of the year that you definitely look forward to after winter and its characteristic white hue. Spring signals the period when the world literally becomes a colorful place again and of course, time to pay attention to your garden.

As temperatures start to rise and the days get warmer, flowers would begin to blossom and you would get longer daylight hours as well. In most cases, especially cooler climates, snow and the darkness of winter soon become a thing of the past.

After accumulating a whole lot of energy all through winter, heading out to tackle all the garden activities that herald the growing season is next. After a long vacation from your garden, it would most likely be in bad shape, so you need to hit the ground running and be ready to get your hands dirty.

You would be growing lettuce, so here are the basics that you would need to cover before doing your planting.

1.   Inspect the Grounds First

Before diving headfirst into the action, you need to first determine exactly what is waiting out there for you. This way, you don’t miss anything.

Head out one beautiful warm spring day with your hat in place, your keen eye ready and a notepad for details.

You would need to take stock of everything that happened to your garden all through winter.

Some of the details that you should take note of should include damage done to plants by cold, snow or ice, new animal habitats, any form of rodent or general pest damage and beds that should be cleaned.

2.   Clear Litter and Debris

This is just about the first stage of preparing your garden. You would need to get rid of all the debris that must have accumulated in your garden all through winter.

These would typically include tree branches that broke thanks to strong winds, twigs and just about anything that qualifies as litter. For fallen leaves, you don’t have to worry about those.

Just rake and pile them into a nice heap, then leave them to decay. They are a great source of nutrients for the soil once they decompose.

Ideally, you should clean out bedroom plant debris from your garden beds before you see your spring bulbs popping up.

Debris, in this case, would comprise fallen leaves, branches and twigs, perennial foliage from the previous year, perennial hibiscus, and ornamental grass.

Also, you should get rid of annuals that you didn’t get rid of the previous fall. Keeping a clean garden bed helps you prevent pest and disease infestation.

3.   Work on Your Hardscaping

Importantly, you should check hardscaping elements like fences, walls or sheds that have undergone some deterioration.

Hardscaping should typically be done very early in spring before the ground is ready to be prepared for planting.

Cleaning out your gutters, repairing damaged walls, fixing your benches, sheds, fences, window boxes, trellises and raised bed, all of these tasks should be done before your plants are still experiencing dormancy.

This time period is also great for adding new beds or raised gardens or even expanding existing ones.

Set your garden up beautifully and add finishing touches such as a fresh paint cost to wooden hardscaping elements.

4.   Determine the Constituents of Your Soil

A great way to stay abreast of the changing nature of the soil you use for planting would be to test it every 3-5 years.

This test would typically determine the organic materials or nutrients that are of optimum quantity in your soil as well as those that it is deficient in.

For instance, if your soil is rich in nitrogen, then you wouldn’t be needing a fertilizer that has very large quantities of it.

Or you might discover that your soil is naturally acidic in which case you would need to add lime/limestone (calcium carbonate) and other compounds that have been ground into a very fine texture.

To get your soil tested, you can always find out the process of submitting a soil sample on the state’s Extension Service website.

5.   Treat Your Soil Till it Attains Optimal State

After determining the needs of your garden soil from the test results, find out the products that you need to apply and do just that.

To enrich your soil, you can always spread an inch or two of humus, compost, and manure on your topsoil in the early spring. Microorganisms in the soil would take care of the rest.

6.   Plant Your Lettuce

Now, for the main event. After meeting the requirements for planting your lettuce, go right ahead!

You would need some vital tips to plant successfully,  but that shouldn’t be a problem.

Do your planting, take care of your plants the way they should be and enjoy your harvest!