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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 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

28 Sep 19, Libby Prenton (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I live in Northland and have moved from the UK so am lacking experience in what grows well in this warm climate. I struggled to grow salads through the summer last year. Which varieties of lettuce grow/stand better through hot weather without so much tendency to go bitter or bolt? Thanks, Libby
07 Oct 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I'm Australian sub tropical and if you are similar weather then we mainly grow things from March into winter and some things from late winter into spring/early summer. Most of what you read in Australia and probably NZ applies to temperate and colder climates. They all talk about planting after the last frost. Where I live we generally don't have frosts. Never had one in my yard in 40 years. Things don't grow much here in July August otherwise can grow things most of the year. Summer hot and requires a lot of watering and attention and only certain things will grow. I rest my ground in summer.
02 Oct 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
As it says here read the packet for when to plant. Generally the open (not heading) type are better for summer, butter head or butter crunch etc. Try and provide some shade during the day, in the sun in the morning in the shade in the afternoon or shade cloth frame. .
09 Oct 19, anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have found it best to raise seedlings and plant lettuces and similar salad crops on the East side of house below the eaves. They get early morning sun until about 11am and then they are in shade or indirect sun. Everything thrives. I just recently put green shadecloth around raised garden be for the same reason as last year everything dried out too easily and required daily soaking. in the present drought I think I might be ok with these two precautions for spring-summer crops.
20 Aug 19, Graham (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi I'm totally new to any kind of growing and am currently experimenting with a hydroponic setup But having trouble getting lettuce seeds started. Had no problems with previous 3 attempts but this time the seeds are doing nothing. Not sure if its the time of year or something else........ Any advice would be appreciated GD
21 Aug 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Wait until this present cold weather passes and we have warmer nights. With spring only a week or two away temps should start to rise a bit, then try again. Lettuce need light to germinate. Keep soil moist and use a fine light watering.
15 Aug 19, Karen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Can you get Butter Lettuce seed in Australia? I'm find it hard to find or is it known by another name
18 Aug 19, Nicole (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Karen, I recently bought Butter lettuce seeds from my local Bunnings! And have had great crops right through winter, just direct sew into garden and pick young leaves to thin them out. I'm in Perth. Regards Nicole
16 Aug 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is called buttercrunch lettuce. Try BOONDIE seeds on the internet.
19 Aug 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
My apologies - I looked up Boondie seeds and they also have butterhead - there may be more. A suggestion - line a Styrofoam box with some paper or shade cloth on the bottom and fill with soil/potting mix/compost and plant the seeds very close - like 100-200 seeds. Water very carefully until they germinate and keep moist. When they grow you can just trim a few off above the heart of the plant and then let them regrow. Just cut enough at a time for a meal or 3.
Showing 1 - 10 of 211 comments

I'm interested in the production of lettuce so I want to know which is the best method for planting. Using hydroponics or soil media and why?

- Peggy

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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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