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 8°C and 27°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 30 cm 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

Your comments and tips

04 Feb 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Most clear plastic is considered direct sunlight - unless there are special filters in the plastic. That is to say, if the only thing between your lettuce and the sun is regular clear plastic, you should be fine. As and FYI there are multiple categories: 1. Direct sunlight - some plants require direct sunlight on their leaves 2. BRIGHT shade; for example when I lived in a Condo, my balcony had no direct sunlight, but because the buildings beside my building had huge glass windows I had VERY bright shade and could grow most full sun potted plants. This also applies to living near the water, where the sun gets reflected-- MOST full sun plants are fine with REFLECTED light but not all. This could also be a a very sunny field, with shade cast from one building, chances are good that would be very bright shade 3. Sun/Shade with all its variations 4. Light shade and 5. Deep shade like the middle of a dense forest. I see no reason why you could not grow SOME of your veggies in the bright shade. I find that many plants labelled full sun, are not. For example: strawberries are generally labelled full sun. However, strawberries TEND to grow naturally in the shade of other plants: woodland or forest floor, in meadows shaded by other plants. I've noticed that any of my strawberries that get full sun tend to have burnt leaves, and the best yielding strawberry plants are in a cool predominately shady areas. I suspect that planting your plants that tend to bolt in a cooler shadier area would be very helpful. I've even grown cherry tomatoes in very bright shade with great success.
28 Jan 22, Anonymous of Bundaberg (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Without sunlight plants become thin weak and spindly. There are varieties to grow in summer and others to grow in Autumn Winter. I generally don't grow things from end of Nov to end of Feb because of the heat and summer conditions - heavy rain and wind.
04 Feb 22, Smithy (Australia - tropical climate)
Lettuce struggles in heat. Finding the balance is not easy but all plants need sun
02 Feb 22, John Mauger (Australia - temperate climate)
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.
04 Feb 22, Smithy (Australia - tropical climate)
Shadecloth covers assist in growing. Keep up the water.
22 Sep 21, Ana Maria (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Is Sept 25th to early to start fall Lettuce in my zone 10b? San Felipe, baja, north.
26 Sep 21, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Lettuce won't germinate if the soil temperature is too high, but if you can start them somewhere shady they might do ok.
29 Aug 21, David (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Planning on planting tomato & lettuce together. Is this a good idea? Any advice would be appreciated.
01 Sep 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant the lettuce on the northern side of the tomatoes or plant far enough away so that the tall tomatoes plants don't shade the lettuce. Lettuce need sunlight to fully grow.
17 Jun 21, Harry C Carter (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Can I grow red leaf lettuce in zone 10 A (Cape Coral Florida)?
Showing 21 - 30 of 250 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

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.