Lettuce Companion Plants For Great Green Growth

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Lettuce has been a backyard staple for ages. Today’s cultivars had been bred over time from bitter, prickly wild lettuce to the candy or crunchy varieties we all know at this time. Grown as an annual, lettuce is of the daisy household, Asteraceae. It is most frequently grown as a leaf vegetable, however typically for its stem and seeds as effectively. As rising lettuce takes observe to excellent its place within the backyard, discovering the correct lettuce companion crops will enable you obtain nice backyard success!

Popular lettuce varieties embrace each heading and looseleaf rising habits. A head selection grows upright with dense leaf construction sometimes leading to a complete head for harvest whereas looseleaf grows on a stem with particular person leaves harvested over the plant’s development cycle.  For rising in your backyard, there are many varieties to select from akin to iceberg, romaine, crisphead, or butterhead. Looseleaf colours vary from gentle inexperienced to burgundy and bronze. Speckled or stable in look, lettuce provides stunning selection to your dinner desk.

Growing lettuce in a companion planting system gives not solely nice selection in your dinner salads but in addition dense vitamin. The darker lettuce varieties supply vital well being advantages as they include beneficial antioxidants. Hydrating, vitamin-rich, and fibrous, rising lettuce in companionship with different good companion salad staples in your backyard is a simple option to give again to your self, your loved ones, and the vegetable backyard.

What Is Companion Planting?

Lettuce companion plants
Selecting the correct lettuce companion crops is simple. Source: Canadian Veggie

Companion planting is a technique of gardening that considers the advantages of particular person crops as a part of the entire backyard. It takes into consideration how crops work together with each other to offer success for any gardener hoping for bountiful harvests. For instance, trellising vining forms of beans, peas, or cucumbers over leafy greens defend them from the summer time warmth, or planting an edible flower like marigolds amongst your tomatoes can stave off root-knot nematodes in your soil. Oregano and thyme are scrumptious backyard herbs that additionally develop as floor covers or dwelling mulch that suppress weeds and retain soil moisture. 

Though its particular person advantages are nonetheless debated, a widely known worth of companion planting is thru ecosystem growth for the backyard. Practicing this technique is not going to solely assist your self but in addition the atmosphere. Attract helpful bugs by interplanting with herbs, flowers, and greens whereas giving your area a stupendous presentation over standard row planting. This technique works to diversify your food plan whereas additionally encouraging it in your backyard. 

Good Lettuce Companion Plants

Tomatoes as lettuce companion plants
Tomato crops present shade in your lettuce throughout sizzling climate. Source: VitaminGreen

Depending on the season, nice companions to develop with lettuce embrace root crops like radish, carrot, parsnips, or beets. Taller forms of flowers or greens are nice choices, in addition to fragrant herbs and alliums. Whether you need to deter a pest, develop lettuce out of season, or appeal to helpful bugs to your crop, there’s a companion for you!

In the autumn season, rising your root or allium crops amongst your lettuce will assist you take care of your greens till the winter season. When summer time warmth provides option to cooler every day temperatures however pests stay current, radishes planted close to the greens will develop shortly and appeal to aphids away out of your lettuce, thus serving as a entice crop with out affecting the radish root. Beets and carrots are additionally nice choices for maximizing your harvest per sq. foot as they develop under floor. They may be intently planted with lettuce which has shallow root methods with out instantly competing for water or vitamins. To full your salad backyard, develop aromatic onions, leeks, or garlic to repel or confuse caterpillar pests sometimes drawn to leafy greens.

Planting edible flowers like marigolds is a superb choice for attracting helpful bugs like ladybugs or to discourage root-knot nematodes which is able to burrow into the foundation methods of your lettuce and have an effect on their means to correctly take up water or vitamins. Calendula provides further profit as a medicinal plant whereas luring slugs away out of your greens, a widely known lettuce pest.

Throughout the late spring and summer time season, your leafy greens will want safety to develop finest, together with spinach and arugula. They may be grown out of season if planted amongst these companions that can present shade for them.  For instance, plant them below sprawling eggplants and tomatoes or taller herbs akin to dill and parsley.  The latter is not going to solely defend them from the mid-day solar but in addition function host crops for swallowtail butterflies. Bush beans work with particular nitrogen-fixing micro organism current within the soil making them a terrific backyard companion for leafy greens as this can be a nutrient important to inexperienced development. Cucumbers are warmth lovers and generally trellised to avoid wasting area in gardens permitting you to plant your leafy greens under them in the summertime maximizing your rising room. Doing this may give you a successive harvest of leafy greens all through the seasons.

What Not To Plant With Lettuce

Harvested lettuce
With the correct companion crops, you’ll harvest good-sized heads. Source: Waldo Jaquith

Not all crops are nice companions in your backyard, with some really deterring the expansion of others.  Those that shouldn’t be grown amongst lettuce embrace cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, romanesco, and mustards. These greens are generally known as Brassicas and are a part of the cabbage household of greens. They emit a chemical compound by means of their root methods that reduces the germination charges of lettuce seeds. Fennel is an instance of an herb that’s recognized to discourage the right development of many backyard staples and needs to be supplied its personal area within the backyard away out of your salad backyard. 

Considering the rising wants or situations of many crops may assist set up them into nice rising companion households.  Shade or solar necessities in addition to soil moisture wants and pH ranges all come into play when grouping your backyard companions. For instance, planting lettuce under your blueberries wouldn’t work as they’ve competing soil pH ranges. Blueberries want acidic soil whereas lettuce wants impartial to barely alkaline soil to ensure that nutrient availability must be met in every plant. Understanding the soil texture, drainage, and quantity of natural matter current in your companion crops may also serve to organize you earlier than planting collectively into your backyard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mixed lettuce starts
A colourful array of lettuce can look nice within the backyard. Source: my_southborough

Q: Can lettuce and basil be planted collectively?

A: They may be, however basil doesn’t supply any explicit assist to lettuce or vice versa. 

Q: Can you plant lettuce in the identical place yearly?

A: While it’s completely potential to take action, a safer method is to observe crop rotation. This reduces the chance that pests that instantly assault lettuce will attempt to set up everlasting residence there. Crop rotation additionally lets you have an ever-changing panorama in your backyard, plus you should utilize it to enhance your soil. For occasion, after a crop of lettuce is completed, you may plant pole beans that add nitrogen again to the soil.

Q: Can I plant lettuce with potatoes?

A: The shallow roots of lettuce crops make it much less more likely to compete along with your potatoes for soil vitamins. However, most individuals hill up the world round potatoes to get a bigger crop. Your lettuce crops would quickly find yourself surrounded by piles of soil or straw, making it troublesome for them to do effectively in your vegetable backyard. So whereas they’d make good companions in a method, they might not find yourself being the perfect companion plant alternative!


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