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How to Grow Mesclun Lettuce

Mesclun isn't a single variety of lettuce. Rather, it's a combination of several varieties of loose leaf lettuces, all in one seed packet. The dictionary definition states it can also contain a variety of herbs and even edible flowering plants. Gardeners love this loose leaf mixture, as it spells "variety" in the salad bowl. Mesclun lovers savor the varying colors, textures, and tastes.

Note: There is no general consensus on what greens , and what percentages, are included in Mesclun. It varies  by seed company.

To give you an idea of what may be in a Mesclun mix, Livingston Seed Company includes: arugula, red russian, endive, chervil, raddichio, red romaine, bibb, and salad bowl lettuces.


Days to Maturity:

Mesclun is ready to harvest in 40-60 days. each lettuce in the mix, may have a different number of days to harvest. But, once they reach a harvestable size, the plants should produce for weeks.


Sowing Mesclun Seeds:


Mesclun seeds are very fine. When planting in rows, spread the seeds as thinly as possible. You can also broadcast the seeds over an area, instead of planting in a row. No matter how hard you try, the seeds are difficult to disperse with the proper spacing. Hard as it may be, thinning seedlings will result in a better crop. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of loose soil or starting mixture.

Tip: Some people sprinkle the seeds on top of a fine soil, and just water them in.

Mesclun is not meant to transplant. They will grow just fine in an outdoor container on your patio or deck. When it comes  time to harvest, just step outside your door and snip as many leaves as you need.


How to Grow Mesclun:

Growing Mesclun is easy.

Lettuce contained in a Mesclun mix, likes cool weather and lots of moisture, in rich, well drained soil. The key to growing Mesclun, is to provide plenty of moisture and fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer works well.

Succession planting is a popular practice with all lettuces. Plant successive crops for a constant supply of Mesclun. Plant small sections in your garden every couple of weeks.

Also See:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures - Ideal germination temperature by vegetable

Ideal Soil pH - by vegetable


Harvesting:

Pick Mesclun as soon as it is big enough to use. We recommend harvesting with a clean, sharp knife or scissors.


Insects and Pests:


Bunnies like  all kinds of lettuce. Got bunnies!? Then, a rabbit fence is in your future.

A variety of insects can pose a real problem. Lettuce is delicate and can absorb many insecticides. If  you want or need to use insecticides, look for brands that are less harmful to you and the environment. We like to avoid insecticides on leafy vegetables wherever possible. we suggest organic sprays, and a willingness to give up some of the harvest to insects, versus using pesticides. After all, one of the reasons most of us have gardens is to avoid the pesticides.

Slugs are a real problem for all types of lettuces. There are a variety of control methods. More on Slugs and snails.


Disease:


Mesclun grows quickly and has a short life span. Disease problems are few, except in wet weather. In hot weather, they can get bitter, and they can rot.

Plant Problems - Diagnosis, causes and cures for many common plant problems.


Hardiness:


Like other lettuces, Mesclun thrives in cooler weather, with moderate moisture. It is not fond of mid-summer heat, or dry conditions. Many gardeners will plant a crop for spring and early summer harvest, leaving the mid summer months to the tomatoes and the corn. Then, as the late summer heat begins to wane, they plant a new lettuce crop for a fall harvest.


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More Information:

Buy Mesclun and Vegetable Garden Seeds - 500 varieties. Better quality, discount prices.



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