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Growing Lettuce

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

(Best months for growing Lettuce in USA - Zone 8b regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. 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

03 Jan 15, Keren (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Lettuce gets bitter if it's too hot and/or when it bolts. Lettuce is ideal is cool temps, and if grown in hot weather does better in the shade or at least partial shade. Full sun in cool weather is fine. Also, too little water causes butter lettuce. Make sure you are either harvesting the plant all at once, or you pick he outer leaves on a consistent schedule. Picking leaves inconsistently can also cause lettuce to bolt.
12 Jul 14, sherron hardin (USA - Zone 5a climate)
I planted within the time frame as your chat suggested. My lettuce has gotten bitter as it has grown. I have it in full sun. I don't know if that is the reason but it would seem on the second growing it became a little bitter and gets worse as it grows. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help

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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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