Growing Lettuce

lactuca sativa : Asteraceae / the daisy family

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

(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
  • 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

18 Jan 08, Jane Falzon (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi some thing is eating my lettuce i have put snail bat down but that has't helped and i dont really want to use spray on them can you help
03 Jan 12, Tim McGrath (Australia - temperate climate)
probably sparrows, bird net may help.
05 May 08, Charlie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
You can't grow lettuce in May, surely it is too cold...
09 May 08, Don (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
i've got lettuces in the open which are growing nicely that were established in February and March. Just wondered if the seed would germinate in the cold ground.
09 May 08, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
In cold months I start seeds under agri-fleece frost protection or in seed trays. I've found that lettuce takes forever to germinate (if ever) when sown directly in frost-exposed ground.
26 Jul 08, Wayne (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Can lettuce be grown in a area where frost is common in winter?spring
28 Jul 08, Michelle (Australia - temperate climate)
I am on the Mornington Peninsula area in Vic which often has frosty temps in Winter. I have lettuce growing from June-Aug with no major frost problems, or pests. Bunnings sells organic pest sprays which are okay.
28 Jul 08, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I grow lettuce through the winter frosts. They thrive under agri-fleece material, and survive uncovered so long as the ground doesn't freeze. A chinese cos-style lettuce 'Glenda White' that I got from seed savers years ago does particularly well through winter.
29 Jul 08, Barbara in Lane Cove (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I'm growing very happy lettuce in hanging baskets in the middle of my clothes line - it's the best place for winter sun, plus the slugs haven't found their way up there (yet) :-) There's still room for the washing around the outside.
21 Sep 08, PaulinBrisbane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Wondering if anyone can tell me the minimum soil depth Lettuce requires ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 194 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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