How to Grow Your Organic Lettuce

Soil Prep. Prepare the soil first. Lettuce needs a lot of nitrogen, so make sure the soil is well fertilized, with pH balance at least 6 to 6.8. But you don't have to fuss about that. Simply spray the soil with our Rapha Humus organic liquid fertilizer as you cultivate it and turn it inside out. Spray liberally to make sure of the soil's nutrition content and alkalinity. Most soils are acidic. This fertilizer has nitrogen and microorganism that "catch" nitrogen in the air.

Plus, your compost adds a bit more nitrogen and other nutrients. And till and cultivate the soil to make it soft and well drained (or to make water easily seep into it).

Seed Planting in Garden Plot. Then plant the lettuce seeds about an inch or so into the soil. Lettuce plants have short roots so you don't need to plant them deeper into the soil. Then cover the seeds with about 1.3 cm soil. Then cover that with your organic compost, about 3 or 4 inches high. Composts keep soil moist and stop weeds from growing. Just make sure the compost is organic. Don't mix anything cooked when composting because anything cooked and rots becomes acidic.

Thin Out. Then, when the tiny plants have appeared, the plants should be from 5 to 8 or even 12 inches apart. So, thin out the small plants. This means removing some of them and replanting them so that they have enough spaces between them, not clustered. This is especially so if you use organic Rapha Humus fertilizer which tends to increase the size of the leaves and the plant itself.

Spraying. Spray the organic foliar fertilizer on the leaves. Do this regularly, ideally three times a day. Rapha Humus organic fertilizer has zero photoxicity or photoirritation---a condition where the plants, and especially the leaves, become "burnt" due to the reaction of the fertilizer to sunlight especially during noon. Rapha Humus does nto have this problem. So, you can spray at different times of the day, especially if you want harvests with abnormally big sizes. No overdose.

Per spray bottle, use 2 tablespoons of Rapha Humus for both soil application and foliar (spray).

Watering. But watering should be done early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Never water at noon or during hot times of the day. And water gently, being careful not to flood the soil. Make sure the plants are watered enough, though.

With Rapha Humus, green leafy vegetables often take only 3 weeks to reach their full potential and for harvest, with big impressive leaves and delightful taste.

Pesticide. How about pests? Well, it has been observed that pests hate the smell of organic fertilizers, especially our Rapha Humus. So, when sprayed on the plants, it also act as organic insect repellent.

In Containers. If you plant lettuce in containers, make sure the soil is replenished well (about every week) with compost and sprayed regularly with organic liquid fertilizer.

This same procedure is good for pechay and mustard and other similar plants.

Watch video below on how to plant lettuce in containers and how to have multiple harvests with one planting.

Containerized Gardens: Vital Tips When Starting Your Home Organic Vegetable Garden

If you are not a gardener but are about to start your home organic vegetable garden, you may be wondering where you should start. There are various ways to start that's why the job seems daunting and confusing. But a good way to start is buy our HOV gardening kit.

Most people start by buying vegetable seeds (or collecting them from raw vegetables and drying them) and planting them in a seedling container like a wooden box. When the seeds sprout after a few days and grow big enough, they are transferred to a pot or garden plot on the ground.

But in between, there are vital tips you should consider:

1. Choose big enough containers. I know. Small containers for plants seen on Youtube or Google pictures look cute. But reality says containerized gardens are best done with containers that are big enough. Soil in big containers don't dry up as fast as those in small containers. Moreover, it is easier to manage bigger containers especially when it comes to replenishing soil and compost in them.

If you should opt for smaller containers, prepare to do more maintenance work. And that would be difficult in a very limited space.

2. Be careful about watering plants. Plants in containers should be watered gently. Do not pour water or put large amounts at once as to flood the containers. Use sprinklers with fine perforation and water carefully several times (one voluminous watering won't do) to let the water seep into the soil slowly, being careful not to flood the container. Use a sprayer for hanging containers. Containers should have holes at the bottom and/or sides for draining excess water.

3. Choose sunlighty areas. Whatever gardening type you are engaged in, plant in areas where there is enough sunlight. This is a vital reminder especially if you are into home gardening. Slightly or partially lighted rooms or spaces won't do. You either put the plants outdoors or directly facing windows receiving ample sunlight.

The good thing about containerized gardening is that it is portable. You can always transfer them to areas more exposed to sunlight or transfer them to safer places during the rainy season or storms.

4. Green leafy. Green leafy vegetables are mostly easier to plant and grow. So start with lettuce, pechay, or mustard. Easier to grow is sweet potato leaves or camote tops.

5. Keep off from pets and kids. Make sure the containers are out of reach of pets and children. Thus, hanging or shelved gardens or those attached to walls are preferred.

6. Foliarize well. When using foliar organic fertilizer, remember to apply or spray according to set schedules. Containerized plants get limited nutrition from the soil in their containers so they need frequent supplementation.

7. Go organic! Never underestimate the power of organic foliar fertilizer and compost.

For more details please watch the video below:

Never Ignore These Tips When Starting Your Home Organic Vegetable Garden

Money Crashers
Why start your own home organic vegetable garden? People often ask me that? You can always buy from the wet market or grocery store.

I answer back with a question---have you ever tasted garden-fresh organic vegetables? Especially one that you picked yourself from your own home garden? Most people haven't. Eaten raw, smoked or sauteed, these veggies are sweet, juicy, crunchy and rich in vibrant textures. They're so different from the usual commercial veggies.

The good news is, we (HOV Gardeners Club) make it easy for you to start your home organic vegetable garden, no matter the size of your available space at home. Just comment below or contact us to get the Home Organic Vegetable (HOV) Gardener's kit and start right away for only P1,888 a kit (20 percent lifetime discount on your next purchase of the fertilizer included). Click here for more on this kit.

Anyway, here's what you should do:

Start a Small Garden. Always start small. Gardening is a science, art, hobby (and therapy) that requires patience. You cannot hurry up and start big at once, especially when we're talking of a home organic vegetable garden in Metro Manila. And it's better to take pride in a small garden than fail with a big one.

And don't plant a lot at once. If you should suffer an error (because you're still a newbie), planting a few would limit the cost. Newbies will learn a lot about gardening and may incur some wasted expenses, so don't do a lot at once.

Choose a Sunny Portion of the Property. See where in your house or yard sunlight is present most of the time. Vegetable plants need some 6 hours of sunlight a day at least. Better if direct sunlight. If plants get enough sunlight, they produce more harvests and better tasting at that. 

Land Prep. When you plant palay, you need to do land prep. So with home organic vegetable gardening. The roots of plants need soft soil to easily penetrate through for good foundation and better absorption of soil nutrients. So make sure the soil is well tilled before planting, cleaned of debris, and choose loamy soil. 

When plants have grown enough, it is good to gently till the soil around to for air circulation. Mix the soil with organic compost for rich nutrients. For containerized gardens, it's better to replenish new soil now and then, every 2 months at least. The same with compost. This and potting mix will be discussed in a coming article. Soil layers in containerized gardens, if well prepared, can prevent water from collecting on top or getting drained away too fast. 

Crops Spacing. Plants should be spaced well. Eggplants can overshadow lettuce, for instance, so that the lettuce gets less sunlight. And their roots might fight each other for survival. And corn planted too near an eggplant may do the same. They will fight over water supply, soil nutrients and sunlight. The result? Growth or cropping failure, disease or death. 

Use the Best Seeds. Choose the best seeds to plant. Weak seeds will cost you time, energy and money all wasted. Good seeds may cost more but they yield better results.

Where to Plant. Look for spots in your property where sunlight is seen most times of the day. Place your containerized garden there. If you have enough backyard space, build garden plots that are well tilled (so the soil gets soft and fertile), well irrigated (not susceptible to flooding), and the rows should be perpendicular to the east-west direction, taking in more sunlight.

Containerized gardens are best placed on high-rise shelves, tread and runner shelves (or staired shelves), hanged on walls or windows, or hanging by ropes attached to ceilings.

What to Plant. If you want plants that can produce more crops in a single season, choose beans, cabbage, lettuce, pechay, radish, spinach, carrots, and native chili (labuyo). Moringa or malungay is an excellent plant that needs less care and management but produces a lot of harvests for you. And the more you harvest the leaves the thicker they grow the next time. 

Green leafy veggies like lettuce, mustard and pechay can be harvested by cutting the leaves (instead of pulling the tree by the roots), leaving the stump in the soil to produce a second round of leaves. Here, spraying an organic liquid fertilizer helps a lot.

When watering the plants, always gently sprinkle. Never pour water. It is better to use a sprinkler sparingly and in several phases. Let the water seep into the soil and make sure the top soil never gets flooded. A sprayer is best for containerized vegetable gardens to prevent soil from getting washed down through the pores of the containers (containers should be pored just enough at the bottom and at the sides for air and water to circulate properly. 

When preparing the layers of soil during potting mix, containers should have soil, compost and aggregates like a little bit of sand or small tee barks or pebbles for creating small "pockets" inside for air and water to travel through properly.