BITTER LETTUCE: What’s Wrong?

BITTER LETTUCE: What's Wrong?

When I visited a friend in Quezon City on May 28, 2018, who has an edible garden, I saw several lettuce plants growing in full sun. “So you are growing lettuce in full sun,” I remarked.

“Yes, but they are bitter,” she answered.

“Very good,” I retorted and she wondered why I said “very good”. Well, very good because you have a two-in-one plant. You have lettuce and ampalaya to boot! Of course, I was kidding.

BITTER LETTUCE: What's Wrong?

Ideally, lettuce is grown in cold places like Benguet. But if you grow it in Metro Manila or some other hot places, make sure to harvest the plant before it is 30 days old so it will not be bitter.

Seriously, why is her lettuce bitter? Weng Bienes of Allied Botanical has a simple explanation. When the lettuce is too old, it usually tastes bitter. It should be eaten at 30 days old or less. Ideally, lettuce should be grown in a cold place like Baguio. But then people in the lowland want to grow their own so they plant some in their garden. When grown in a hot place like Metro Manila, the plant develops a lot of latex which makes it bitter. The result is the same when the plant is not adequately watered.

Weng’s final advice: If grown in Metro Manila and other hot places, eat your lettuce when it is 30 days old or earlier. Also water the plant adequately.

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