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Growing Lettuce

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

(Best months for growing Lettuce in Australia - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings. P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 8°C and 27°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Carrots, Onions, Strawberries, Beets, Brassicas, Radish, Marigold, Borage, Chervil, Florence fennel, leeks.
  • Avoid growing in same bed: 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

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.
15 Mar 17, Nicki (Australia - temperate climate)
Can spinach and lettuce be grown in the same bed together?
04 Feb 17, Gail (Australia - temperate climate)
I have planted a variety of lettuce from seed. From about 15 seeds planted only 1 is starting to grow. I can't see anything eating the shoots could there be bugs in the ground eating the seedling before it shoots?
04 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Lettuce and other fine seed like carrot needs consistent moisture to germinate as the seeds are fine. A notorious thief of lettuce and carrot seeds are ants! Sprinkle pepper along the row when sowing the seed, this is an excellent deterrent. Trust this helps.
04 Jan 17, john shanahan (Australia - temperate climate)
Why is it that so many of vegetable plants go to seed before 'hearting'. Mainly lettuce?
06 Jan 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi John, not sure if your question is about your garden, or just seeding in general. I had total failure with my lettuce this year. I planted in November, and the Sydney summer was just too hot. In some areas classed as temperate climate you can plant all year, but this guide can't fit everyone. Where I live is generally 6 degrees hotter than Sydney CBD throughout summer, so trying lettuce at that time of year was stupid. Lesson learned. Regarding bolt in general, I think it's really just that plants will do anything to survive. I'm no botanist, so this is all my opinion only. If the conditions are perfect, the plant has the energy and nourishment to produce a harvest. As conditions move further away from ideal, the plants behaviour becomes less about producing a large crop (showing off), and more about survival. When conditions are untenable, the plant will abandon the crop, and put all available energy into producing seeds to try again next year. That's bolt as I understand it, I'm more than happy to be corrected.
09 Jan 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Lettuces like cooler weather. Varieties like Iceberg, Imperial 847, Imperial Triumph will bolt to seed readily.Great Lakes, Penn Lake, Yatesdaale will tolerate warmer conditions but are a coarser leafed lettuce.
10 Oct 16, jalannie (Australia - temperate climate)
how popular is this vegetable? an what seasons does it grow in?
08 Jul 16, Katie (Australia - temperate climate)
I left my cos lettuce to seed last season in our raised garden bed. The new plants are now growing beautifully, but they are all quite bitter. Even the baby plants. They are getting plenty of water, being winter time! Any ideas as to why this may be and what I can do about it?
Showing 1 - 10 of 147 comments

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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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