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1/5

Cos lettuce

Lactuca sativa

Romaine lettuce (Eng.), Romaine slaai (Afr.)

1/5

Cos or Romaine lettuce grows with a more upright or oval head shape, has sturdy leaves with firm ribs down their centres with dark outer leaves, slightly bitter taste and a crispy texture. It is considered to be more nutritious than crisphead lettuce and is usually the lettuce used in a Caesar salad.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Leaves are harvested individually or as a whole plant. The plant is ready to harvest 60 to 70 days after planting. Harvest before a central stem forms. If temperatures are too high the plant will bolt forming a central stem with flowers and eventually seeds.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seeds in seed trays at a depth of 0.6 to 1.3cm. The optimal temperature for germination is around 20 °C. Transplant after 4 to 6 weeks.
Cuttings
If the whole plant is harvested and the base of the plant is kept in a bowl of water, the centre of the plant will continue to grow and form new leaves.

Special features

Crop rotation
To prevent soil diseases, follow lettuce planting with dwarf beans, carrots, cucumbers, squash or basil.
Indoor plant
Popular to grow in greenhouses or tunnels.
Wet sites
Salads are easily to grow in a hydroponic set-up.

Geography

Origin
Mediterranean region, Greece
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Edible
Leaves are eaten mostly raw, but can be cooked too.

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
None

Problems

Slugs and snails feed on the leaves, control with organic snail bait or beer traps. Aphids may be a problem, encourage beneficial predators like lady bugs and spray organic insecticide when predators are not present.

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