When it comes to starting up a green house growing business or a CSA, nothing is quite as attractive as fresh heads of lettuce. Growing salad greens and baby spinach appeals to the shoppers and families on the roster that are hungry for fresh leaves. These plants use up quite a bit of nitrogen during the growing process, and leaves may develop slowly and weakly when a deficiency has developed. Building a strong soil bacteria network is the best way to keep nitrogen levels steady whether you choose to fertilize or not.
Getting Those Crucial Nutrients
Even if your soil is full of nitrogen ready to be used by swelling heads of lettuce, the plants may not be able to absorb the nutrient themselves. Soil bacteria and fungi form direct connections with the smallest roots of vegetable plants. This allows them to break down compounds in the soil into formats that the plants can absorb. Without the hidden web of microbes working away in every particle of dirt, greens growing in some of the most fertile soil will remain puny and stunted without the corresponding support team.
Symptoms of Low Nitrogen
Since nitrogen is primarily put to use in leaf development, it is obviously important to the various greens grown for salad. Plants unable to take it up will develop chlorosis on their lowest and oldest leaves first. Chlorosis is a yellowing that affects the entire leaf from the outside inward. Overall small size and physical damage to the leaf edges also show that your roots are not finding the nitrogen they need. If a soil test reveals an adequate supply, the culprit may be a loss of soil microbes.