Growing Lettuce

lactuca sativa : Asteraceae / the daisy family

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

(Best months for growing Lettuce in Australia - sub-tropical regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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 table-ready
  • Lettuce seedlings

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.

Ideal crop for succession planting.

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

01 May 24, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Yum
24 Nov 23, KCS (USA - Zone 9b climate)
How much sun/shade does lettuce require? Would love to plant in a mostly shaded area of the outside.
05 Dec 23, Faith Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
MOSTLY Shade greens (which is a couple of hours of sun per day): Asian greens (bok choi, pak choi, komatsuna, tatsoi), misuna, kale. mustard greens, arugula AND yes, lettuce... but when you say mostly shade.... and I start to think of what the conditions are like after watering.... wet shade.... and for my zone this means slugs and slugs love lettuce; and for that reason I would probably go with a green other than lettuce -- looking in particular for a firmer, stronger tasting (hotter) green. SOME SEEDS need light to germinate... so you need to start these plants elsewhere and transplant, or perhaps chose a green whose seeds do not need light to germinate.
30 Nov 23, (USA - Zone 3a climate)
Most crops need plenty of sun otherwise they grow small and weak. There are different varieties to plant in summer or winter.
01 Nov 23, Madison (USA - Zone 9b climate)
How much water does Lettuce need when hardening off???
05 Nov 23, (USA - Zone 3a climate)
Keep soil moist but not soggy wet. A light watering each day. Even twice a day.
29 Oct 23, Getz (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi I just planted lettuce, after few days some leaves come out but the day after disappeared! I notice lots of little lizards, do the lizards could eat my lettuce? Cheers Getz
05 Nov 23, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Check for birds also.
22 Oct 23, Jordan (USA - Zone 9b climate)
ive tried growing lettuce (romaine mostly) in spring here in california central valley, it does not like it at all. bolts every time. trying again in winter right now, will update.
11 Feb 24, Daniel (USA - Zone 9a climate)
red leaf lettuce does better in the cooler months than does green leaf lettuce. I usually plant my green leaf & red leaf in late March on my south-facing patio so the frost cannot get to it. the red leaf will usually bot first in May or early June but my green leaf will go until it gets really hot in July or August.
Showing 1 - 10 of 251 comments

Lettuce grows best in cooler conditions. Varieties of lettuce that are grown in the summer (Great Lakes, etc) tend to be coarser textured and not quite as sweet as varieties grown in cooler weather. Because they are a leaf vegetable and not a 'fruit' vegetable they will tolerate less light. Morning sun up until late morning would be fine. Too much shade will make them weak and spindly. Trust this helps.

- John Mauger

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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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