Lamb’s lettuce (Valerianella locusta)

Garden Life
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Lamb’s lettuce is a popular salad or vegetable. In some areas, it is also known as “corn salad”. Lamb’s lettuce is an annual and a hardy plant. There are two kinds of lamb’s lettuce. There are autumn varieties with tender, light green leaves, and there are robust winter varieties.

Cultivation

Lamb’s lettuce is relatively easy to maintain. It is happy in a dry soil which is rather low in nutrients. It grows particularly well in calcareous and sandy clay soil. As a hardy plant, the lamb’s lettuce can withstand temperatures down to -15°. During the autumn, the soil possesses sufficient humidity through the formation of dew. Lamb’s lettuce never requires fertiliser; but weeds should be removed at regular intervals.

Harvest and sowing

Lamb’s lettuce is sown twice yearly. It is usually sown in late summer, in the months from August to September. The later the seed is sown, the later the harvest. You can sow lamb’s lettuce even if minus degrees are to be expected outdoors. Here it is especially important that you ensure a sunny location.
Sow the seeds from the beginning to the middle of September in order to harvest them from November to the middle of January. September seeds germinate rapidly due to the high humidity; as the temperatures grow colder, however, they stop growing. The lamb’s lettuce can be harvested after approximately 12 weeks. In winter, it is possible to protect the lamb’s lettuce against the cold using a gardening fleece.
Lamb’s lettuce generally grows quite quickly. When sowing seed in the summer, growth takes 8 – 10 weeks.
The lamb’s lettuce is not completely harvested. The florets are cut several times. During the first harvest, the plants are cut just above the root base. 

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