Salad Leaves

Wild lettuce is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa and from it are derived all cultivated varieties. Lettuce was first grown in Egypt about 6,500 years ago. The Romans later believed it to have medicinal properties and they brought it to England. Salad crops are now important economic crops in the USA and Europe and are grown extensively around the world. There are many varieties available in the shops and fashion has changed from the common limp lettuce to tastier varieties such as Rocket, Pak Choi, and Radicchio.

Unlike most vegetables, salads are unsuitable for freezing and are usually eaten fresh, though some can be successfully stir-fried.

From the commercial grower's point of view, the best margins are to be made from following trends and growing the latest popular varieties. Only the very biggest producers can make any money these days from the traditional lettuce and the ubiquitous ‘Iceberg’.

These are very short season crops and are susceptible to downpour, drought and disease. However, when grown in fully mineralised soil, salad leaves can take up important mineral nutrients, giving them something of the status of a health food. Anecdotally, this also improves texture, taste and shelf life.

The Dressing Process

Field Science tailored mineral dressings are always based on detailed soil analysis of the field to be treated. A member of our technical team will visit your farm to discuss and identify where we can help. Soil samples are then taken and the tailored dressings are based on the independent laboratory’s results.

The Single Crop Dressing is the only option for salad leaves as the soil is worked to such a degree that the previous year’s dressing, if a multiple year dressing was used, would be lost to the plants.

The best time for application is just after emergence of each crop. The application rate is usually 25kg per hectare (10kg/ac). The application equipment on farm may dictate application rate which can be adjusted to suit. The dressings are packed in 25kg bags, clearly labelled with the farm details, field name, application rate and bag weight.c sem.