Lettuce is the most popular salad crop and has great commercial importance; Lettuce was first cultivated in ancient Egypt. Previously, Europe and North America were the major producers of lettuce. Lettuce cultivation also done in india On Large scale.
However, by the late 20th century, lettuce production and consumption had spread throughout the world. Currently, China is the leading producer of lettuce in the world, followed by the United States.
Lettuce Cultivation in India
India ranks third in commercial lettuce production, which accounts for 4% of the world’s total production. South India’s Nilgiri Mountains are emerging as an iceberg lettuce production centre for multinational food company McDonald’s.
On the other hand, we address those lettuce farming tasks that require reliable equipment for every Indian farmer. For example, farmers often use the Digitrac tractor, which is mostly used in farming. Apart from this, farmers need rotavators, cultivators and tillage for cultivation.
Global Demand For Lettuce
The demand for lettuce is increasing very fast. In addition, the restaurant industry is booming as the younger generation of the country prefers international cuisines like burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, tacos, spring rolls, etc., where lettuce is an integral part.
Lettuce is classified into 4 major types, namely:
- Head lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. capitata),
- Leafy lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. crispa),
- Cos or Romaine lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. longifolia)
- stem lettuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina)
Among the varieties of cultivation, Iceberg and Great Lakes are the major types of lettuce popularly grown in India.
The head of the iceberg lettuce is round in shape, light green, and tightly packed with lettuce leaves, like a head of cabbage. Lettuce is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals.
Iceberg lettuce is high in water (95%) and low in calories (13 kcal/100 g), effective for weight loss. In addition, iceberg lettuce helps fight heart diseases and strokes during pregnancy and protect babies from neural tube defects.
Regular inclusion of lettuce is known to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anaemia. In addition, we believe that this lettuce protects against heart diseases, age-related macular disease (ARMD), Alzheimer’s disease and cancer in the elderly.
Soil And Climate For Lettuce Cultivation
For lettuce, keep the soil that is well-drained and has a pH of about 6.0 is best suited for lettuce growth. In addition, it is moderately salt tolerant. Lettuce is a cool-season crop that requires an average air temperature of 10 – 20 °C, and also Cool nights are essential for good quality lettuce.
Therefore, farmers grow lettuce mainly in regions with cool summers and mild winters. Large scale cultivation of lettuce is done without the help of hydroponic techniques or protective cultivation without soil.
Lettuce seeds are delicate and very thin –you need about 325 grams to cultivate one hectare of lettuce. Since the seeds are very fine, plant the seedlings on the bed. There are about 800 seeds of lettuce in one gram.
Nursery Raising For Lettuce Cultivation
Make 100 cm wide and 30 cm high nursery beds. Mix manure, 100 grams sulphate and 50 grams tiamat in each bed and mix it in the bed’s soil.
Farmers should sow the lettuce seeds in rows at a distance of 5 cm between rows, and also, it is 1.5-2 cm deep. Then, they should cover the seed with a mixture of sand and FYM, and also, Plants are ready for planting in about 21-28 days.
To prevent diseases or pests. Spray two sprayers with monochromes @ 1 ml and copper oxychloride @ 2 g/Ltr of water at an interval of 15 days.
Lettuce seedlings are ready to transplant in 4 to 5 weeks. Farmers should keep the seedlings hardened before transplanting. Hardening is done by withholding water for approx 68 days. Farmers transplant the Seedlings at a 45 × 45 cm or 45 × 30 cm spacing in flatbeds. They require approximately 66665 seedlings for cultivation in the one-hectare area.
Lettuce Farming – Fertilizer Management
The use of fertilizers affects the growth and yield of lettuce. For lettuce cultivation, add 25 kg of nitrogen and potassium and 90 kg of phosphorus per hectare to 150-200 quintals/ha of field manure.
Farmers apply 40-50 kg nitrogen and 75-100 kg phosphorus and potassium per hectare on sandy loam soils without manure. 25 kg nitrogen and potassium and 50-75 kg phosphorus per hectare can be applied for good growth in silt and clay loam soils.
However, the fertilizer will depend on the availability of nutrients related to the required nutrients and the fertility status of the soil. Farmers should apply about one-third to one-half of the nitrogen at the time of sowing and the rest after thinning.
There are different systems of irrigation, including drip irrigation, furrow irrigation and sprinkler irrigation. Frequent and light irrigation is more effective for obtaining high yield and quality production in lettuce cultivation. After planting, farmers should irrigate the crops at an interval of 8 to 10 days. Drip irrigation increased the yield by about 30% as compared to cistern irrigation.
In the guidelines of this farming, We came here to inform you of some important points about lettuce cultivation. In such a way, we recommend the John Deere tractor for every Indian farmer. However, lettuce farming requires a lot of equipment such as a Rotavator, Cultivator, Tillage and many more.
For the above information regarding lettuce farming in India, stay tuned with us.