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Growing Lettuce

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S P P P P          

(Best months for growing Lettuce in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden, or start in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 81°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Carrots, Onions, Strawberries, Beets, Brassicas, Radish, Marigold, Borage, Chervil, Florence fennel, leeks.
  • Avoid growing close to: Parsley, Celery
  • Lettuce seedlings
    Lettuce seedlings
  • Lettuce table-ready
    Lettuce table-ready

Lettuce offer a range of shapes, sizes and colours but they are all easy to grow. Choose a variety marked on the seed packet as suitable for the time of year as some do badly in the very hot months. Try to provide some shade to prevent them 'bolting' to flower and seed in the hottest months.

Sow in rows and use thinnings as small salad greens

Lettuce are shallow rooted so water daily in hot or dry weather to prevent bitter flavour. and bolting.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Lettuce

Wash well, spin or shake dry and use in salads and sandwiches

Your comments and tips

15 Oct 17, Garvin Johny (USA - Zone 11b climate)
I'm growing COS lettuce in the Caribbean where it hot and humid most of the year but according to Gardenate lettuce is not suitable for my climate.
15 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
"The Caribbean's littlest islands follow a typically Caribbean weather pattern, with December to April the peak months (drier, cooler, less humid) – and September to October the most prolific for hurricanes, with rains starting in June". Dec to April might be the time to grow things - drier cooler less humid.
15 Oct 17, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Gardenate is a 'guide' not hard and fast rules. Your microclimate obviously suits cos lettuce. By the way, we have not included inforamtion for the Caribbean because we do not have enough information about the climate.
02 Jun 17, Les (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I bought a lettuce called Cherokee from the Farmers' Market that was almost black. It had a good taste but I can't find anywhere that sells the seeds and the seller has not been back to the market since. Has anyone heard of this lettuce or knows where to buy the seeds?
05 Jun 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
I searched for 'Cherokee lettuce seed' and came up with seed available on eBay. it is very dark red and the seed was available from Hong Kong I think. They do send to Australia and quoted around 3 weeks for delivery. Once you get it and grow some let a good specimen go to seed. Then you will have more to sow, share or sell.
04 Jun 17, Sue (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
The darkest lettuce I know of is Lolla Rossa Darkness, it is actually a very deep red, loose leaf variety. The Seed Vault (www.theseedvault.co.za) has a picture of it as the main picture under lettuce. The only other one that it could possibly be is Red Oakleaf which is also quite dark. In my experience the better the soil the darker the colour presents on the lettuce (or deeper / brighter if it is a green lettuce).
11 May 17, jicinta (Australia - temperate climate)
what are the ideal condtions to grow lettuce
11 May 17, Sean (Australia - temperate climate)
Lettuces thrive in cooler zones. A good supply of old manure or compost will keep them moving and a consistent water supply is a must. Sowing the seed direct, as thinly as possible, will result in better lettuce but this may not always be practical. Watch for slugs as they love them and will hide in the base of the leaves. Sparrows can sometimes be a problem as well.
22 Mar 17, Brooke (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Can I grow lettuce in freezing conditions that go to -10 degrees celcius?
23 Mar 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Lettuces prefer cooler weather and can stand a light frost. If the frosts are heavy and continuous the freeze will cause the leaves to break down and become necrotic (rot). Butterhead and Romaine type lettuces will tolerate much cooler conditions than the other varieties. You ccould cover them with old towels, etc but prolonges frosts would stil cause damage. Try growing lettuce as micro-greens on cotton wool or paper towel in a tray dampened with water. You could grow them inside and harvest the little leaves by snipping with scissors. All the best.
Showing 1 - 10 of 182 comments

Can spinach and lettuce be grown in the same bed together?

- Nicki

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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