How to Grow Canons: Everything You Need to Know

Hello to all agrohuerters! In today’s article we will see how to grow lamb’s lettuce step by step in a very simple way. Canons are delicious in salads or as an accompaniment to different dishes. In addition, we can grow lamb’s lettuce both in gardens and in pots. Here we go!

Growing lamb’s lettuce in the garden

What are canons?

The lamb’s lettuce, known in the scientific world by the name of Valerianella locusta, are a type of annual herbaceous plants that belong to the Valerianaceae family.

They are known by the name of canons due to the tradition of cultivating them in monasteries. However, they also have other common names such as: lamb’s lettuce, edible valerian, alfaces, dulceta, etc. They are known to be one of the ingredients in many salads.

The leaves are green with a slight sheen. These leaves are arranged in a rosette shape. The flowers are white with bluish touches, like the ones you see in the following photo:

Valerianella locusta flower

Benefits of the canons

As we have said before, for a few years we have been used to seeing lamb’s lettuce in salads. The leaves of the lamb’s lettuce have a slightly acidic flavor and, apart from being used in salads, they can accompany many dishes.

I leave you here some ideas to consume canons:

  • Salad of canons, lentils and tomato.
  • Canons with nuts and cheese.
  • Salmon accompanied by canons.
  • Canons with avocado and carrot.

However, do we know what benefits canons have? Let’s see it!

  • Canons are low in fat.
  • Rich in vitamin B and C.
  • It contains iodine, iron, potassium and phosphorus, among others.
lamb’s lettuce salad

Growing lamb’s lettuce in the garden

Occasionally, we can find lamb’s lettuce that grows naturally in meadows with high humidity. However, we cannot go to a meadow every time we want to eat them. Therefore, we always end up at the supermarket to buy them.

But… Why buy lamb’s lettuce if we can grow it ourselves? Next, we are going to see the most important steps for growing this plant in our gardens. You will see how simple!

Grow lamb’s lettuce in the garden. (Source: NatureGate)

1. Sowing lamb’s lettuce

First of all, we must know that the lamb’s lettuce is sown directly in the garden soil. Therefore, we will not have to perform a transplant. In addition, we can sow by broadcasting or in rows.

If we soak the seeds 1 or 2 days before sowing, we will help their subsequent germination. Ideally, start sowing in mid to late summer.

They can be grown on all types of soils, preferably light earthen soils. In addition, it is essential that the environment is humid and cool. The places of the orchard with a light shade will favor its development.

2. Irrigation of the canons

As we have said before, lamb’s lettuce is a crop that requires a lot of humidity. For this reason, watering is recommended almost daily. However, we must pay attention and avoid waterlogging since a waterlogged soil is always more conducive to the appearance of fungi in the garden.

3. Harvest of the lamb’s lettuce

A month and a half after sowing, the lamb’s lettuce can be harvested. It is recommended to always harvest before flowering, since once the lamb’s lettuce has flowered it loses quality. That is, when it starts to get good (spring) the harvest will stop.

Once you have harvested the lamb’s lettuce, it is important to consume them as soon as possible since, on the contrary, in 2 or 3 days they will go bad.

4. Pests and diseases of lamb’s lettuce

The lamb’s lettuce is not usually attacked by almost any pest due to its cultivation during cold temperatures. However, fungal attacks tend to be more frequent due to humidity.

For example, one of the most common diseases that can affect lamb’s lettuce is rust. It usually appears after long periods of heavy rain. It is very easy to identify it: you have to look if there are orange bumps on the underside of the leaves and small yellow spots on the upper side.

Rust pustules on rosebush.

On the other hand, it is recommended to remove the weeds that you find by hand, without using herbicides.

5. Associations of the cultivation of lamb’s lettuce

This plant can be grown together with other long-cycle species. Among these species may be: the turnip, the carrot, the cabbage or the leeks.

Growing lamb’s lettuce in a pot

Another advantage of growing lamb’s lettuce is that they can also be grown in pots. To do this, the method will be similar to the previous one. You will need a pot of at least 5 liters.

As in the previous case, it is recommended to sow in summer to be able to harvest between September and March. Irrigation must be very regular, avoiding waterlogging.

The advantage of growing in pots is that you do not need to have a large orchard or garden.

Varieties of lamb’s lettuce

There are different varieties of lamb’s lettuce. Among these varieties, the following stand out:

  • full heart
  • Louviers Green
  • Round Garden
  • Chambray Green
  • Holland Glory


If you liked this article and you want to grow other types of ingredients for your salads, I also leave you these articles:

This is all for today, I hope you liked the article and that you are encouraged to grow lamb’s lettuce. See you in the next article!

Have a nice day

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