Globalisation, which in layman terms is defined as the exchange of goods and services worldwide is a transformational phenomenon and brought a change in the very ethos of this world.The facilities,delicacies,literature etc.native to one place can be enjoyed from other corners of the world. ’Man is a social animal’,they say.Human beings have always been interested in knowing about their as well as the nativity of other things around them as well.
The culinary style of the foreign lands has always left connoisseurs in a state of perplexity.Take for instance, Dragon Fruit a native of America, can be relished by a resident of Chennai, thanks to the advent of globalisation.With this cultural exchange came a wave of food revolution and people were keen on trying various diets.From salads to bread, everything was tried.
In this new era,where people are becoming more diet conscious and are oriented towards consumption of healthy and fibre rich foods, salads have become the people's choice.With some restaurants and cafes selling some of the most loved salads thus pulling out the ‘hotel culture’ from the realm of heavy,satiating and oil-opulent food.So,coming back to the point what is that one component that is common in most of the salads we eat?(particularly vegetarian) Yes,you guessed it right! It's none other than lettuce.But do you know that this fiber king was first cultivated in Egypt in order to produce oil from its seeds?It was selectively bred later on for its leaves.
There are several varieties of lettuce from butterhead to oilseed.It can also be grown at home in patios or pots.Of all the other varieties, the romaine lettuce plant is usually the most loved variety.It is used in Caesar salad and sandwiches as well.It has long,upright heads.
Health benefits and nutritional facts
The crunchy and juicy salads are known to the world over for their numerous health benefits.But how about knowing the health benefits of the individual veggies used in your salad.Lets tell you some health wonders you would experience if you consume and even better, harvest romaine lettuce and consume it.
Romaine lettuce offers 8 calories, 2 grams of dietary fibre and less than 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving. It is bestowed with a wealth of essential vitamins C, K and beta carotene that convert into vitamin A in the body and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron and potassium and is naturally low in sodium.
- It improves bone health
- Promotes good vision
- Promotes healthy skin and wors like a detoxifier for it
- Anticancer effect
- Wound healing
- Promotes digestion
How to use Romaine lettuce in foods?
Apart from finding its use in salads,romaine lettuce has managed to break its monotony and is used in wraps,and asian lettuce cups as well.
Here are a few delicacies where romaine lettuce is used
- Vietnamese pork lettuce wraps
Impromptu guest arrival? Don't have anything to feed them?Don't worry,these wraps are the easiest and fuss free way to feed your guests.
- Quick Nicoise salad
- Warm rice and Pintos salad
- Mexican layered salad
Guide to grow Romaine lettuce
Contrary to a round and bulbous head,romaine lettuce grows sturdy leaves with upright heads,they also have densely packed thick midribs.When it comes to planting romaine lettuce in your garden,you have 3 options:
1. Planting from transplants
The first option would be to purchase transplants from a local nursery.You can purchase seeds from a local nursery, a great choice for beginners This is a great choice for beginners or those who are not interested in growing from seed.Still, if you’re just growing a handful of plants in a pot or the corner of a raised bed, purchasing a starter pack of 4 or 6 plants from the nursery is a great way to start. But one should use the right gardening tools to sow the seeds at the right depth and place.
2. Starting seeds indoors
Another possible way of growing romaine lettuce is to plant seeds indoors under grow lights. But seeds should be given proper care before sowing. Growing romaine lettuce indoors requires a little more care.
Sow the seeds about 10-12 weeks before your last expected spring frost. So basically, lettuce is a cool weather crop and it can tolerate spring frost with ease.You will be able to see tiny plantlets sprouting after 4-6 weeks of sowing them.That means the seedlings that grow from late February planting, go out into the garden in early to mid-April.
3. Planting romaine lettuce seeds outdoors
So, firstly sow the romaine lettuce seeds a few inches apart and water them post-covering them with a thin,soft cloth.But watering romaine lettuce seeds should be done surreptitiously since they might get washed away.Then, walk away and forget about them. Say for instance in India,romaine lettuce can be grown between February to April since at that time temperatures are neutral in India.
When to grow Romaine lettuce?
Lettuce is usually grown in cooler winter months The Nilgiris produce most of the lettuce grown in the South,though Bengaluru and Mysore too provide significant produce.Moving on,if you are planning for growing lettuce in pots in your house,you should sow romaine lettuce seedlings in cooler months because if it is sown in May-June then it tends to bolt and the leaves become unpalatable.On the other hand,if sown in winter it gets a good 3 month time for growing to a lush,decent harvest.You can speed up the process by investing in a hydroponic systems where you are growing romaine in water enriched with all the essential nutrients required by the particular plant.In this way,you will be able to speed up the procedure and not just that,it increases the yield manifold.
However,if you are growing romaine at home you just need to plant these seeds in seed trays enriched with cocopeat and water.You shall be able to observe romaine lettuce seedlings appear in 8-10 days.After 5-10 days transplant them into individual pots or beds.However,if you are transplanting them to beds,the romaine lettuce spacing has to be around 30 cm.
You’ll need to feed them some good organic compost every 20-30 days, to make sure the leaves grow out lush. Use a chilli garlic spray to keep pests off.
Best out of waste,we hear this quite often. However,we usually don't tend to imbibe this into our lives.But wait,how about growing romaine lettuce from scrap ? You can practise regrowing romaine from kitchen scraps.
Guide to Regrow Romaine Lettuce
To regrow lettuce in water, save the end from a head of lettuce. That is, cut the leaves from the stem at about one inch (2.5 cm.) from the bottom. Take a shallow dish and just fill it with ½ inch water. Now,you need to immerse the stem-end into it and put the whole apparatus on a window sill. Here's one thing to be kept in mind,you can place it on the window sill only if there isn't much difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures and if there is, a difference then you can put this apparatus under 'grow lights'.You should change the water in the dish everyday.After a couple of days, you will see roots growing at the bottom of the stump and leaves will begin to form. After 10 to 12 days, the leaves will be large and plentiful.
About Urja Seeds
At Urja Seeds,customer satisfaction is our top priority. We provide a variety of vegetable seeds, flower seeds, exotic seeds and micro green seeds too. We sell good quality lettuce seeds online at quite affordable prices.And if you get stuck in your home gardening steps,we are here to guide you always.
Q1: Which soil is best for growing lettuce?
Ans: Lettuce grows best in loose, cool soil with good drainage. The addition of organic materials, such as compost or manure, will increase drainage.
Q2: What should I refrain from growing with lettuce?
Ans: Try to avoid growing lettuce next to broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, or kohlrabi- since these plants secrete certain secretions which might actually inhibit the growth of lettuce seeds.