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Iceberg lettuce looks more like cabbage than salad. It forms dense, compact heads of cabbage from light and rather thick, surprisingly juicy and crunchy leaves. The weight of a head of cabbage near an iceberg can exceed 1 kg, although in a vegetable garden they usually do not reach their maximum size. The salad tastes almost neutral, but no other salad is so delicious and crunchy.
The use of iceberg lettuce in cooking
This is a versatile salad that can be used in a mixture with other types, perfectly in harmony with fish, meat, seafood, ideally combined with sour cream sauces.
Sowing dates for iceberg lettuce
The iceberg is grown both through seedlings and usually by the method, but such salads give a lower quality harvest. For seedlings, seeds are sown 3 weeks before planting in the soil (before the beginning of April, sowing can only be carried out when transplanting into greenhouses and a greenhouse), if necessary, crops are repeated every 2 weeks during spring and summer. Only spring and pre-winter sowing is carried out into the soil.
The necessary conditions
For the iceberg, it is necessary to provide bright lighting and nutritious, well-drained soils that are not characterized by high acidity, into which complete mineral fertilization was applied in the fall or several weeks before planting. The iceberg loves the coolness of the night (up to 18 ° C) and does not respond well to daytime temperatures above 30 ° C. Withstands frosts down to -6 ° C.
Sowing iceberg lettuce into soil
Pre-winter sowing is carried out in the middle of autumn. Any organic and complete mineral fertilizers are applied to the soil, deep digging is carried out and seeds are densely scattered into rows. Covering them with soil, the garden bed is protected from above with dry foliage.
Spring sowing is carried out after the soil has warmed up, when night temperatures do not drop below -6 ° C. The seeds are sown no deeper than 1 cm, the crops are covered with non-woven materials or film from above and left until the daytime temperatures rise to a stable 18 ° C heat.
Growing through seedlings
Before sowing, the seeds need to be soaked. They are sown several seeds at a time in small cups or peat pots. Germination should take place in cool conditions (up to 18 ° C warm). After the first shoots appear, the plants are transferred to warm rooms, one strong sprout is left and grown to 8-10 cm, after which hardening begins. An iceberg is planted in a permanent place in a greenhouse or garden at the age of three weeks, keeping a distance of 30 to 40 cm between plants.
The specifics of care for iceberg lettuce
It is very important for the iceberg to maintain constant humidity and ensure that the plantings are protected from drafts. This plant will need not only loosening the soil with a frequency of 3 weeks and weeding, but also fairly abundant watering. They should be uniform, without allowing even a short-term drought during the period of active development.
The intensity of watering must be reduced from the moment the heads of cabbage begin to form, when the lettuce becomes extremely vulnerable to decay. It is better to water the iceberg in the late evening. Fertilizers are usually applied only on depleted soils 2 times, at the time of planting to improve engraftment and at the beginning of head formation. But it is better to do without them and take care of the timely preparation of the soil, because the iceberg is prone to nitrate accumulation.
Harvesting and storage
The iceberg should be harvested as the heads of cabbage mature, in the early morning, cutting them out with a sharp knife and immediately removing a couple of outer leaves. This salad is stored in cool conditions (1-2 ° C is optimal), the average shelf life of cabbages is about 1 week. If stored in the refrigerator with preliminary wrapping in a damp cloth and in bags, it can last up to 3 weeks.
The best varieties of iceberg lettuce
- early "Santarinas", "Lagunas", "Diamantinas", "Argentinas", "Gondar", "Galera";
- the middle Campionas, Mirett and Fiorett.
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