When to Plant Lettuce Seeds
Lettuces are a cool season crop and planting in the heat of summer should be avoided, but many varieties mature quickly and often more than one crop can be harvested in spring and late summer.
Where to Plant Lettuce Seeds
Lettuce does best in full sun, however, if you live in a hot climate then some shade will benefit your lettuce. Find an area that has well-draining soil.
How to Plant Lettuce Seeds
Start lettuce seeds indoors or out, by sprinkling seeds in rows or in containers, and covering with a layer of soil. If starting indoors, cover containers with a plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect and keep warm. Sprouts should appear within a week to 10 days. Once sprouted, remove the plastic and provide plenty of light. Once seedlings have a few sets of true leaves, transplant to individual containers. Harden off seedlings about a week before transplanting out of doors. In outdoor beds, either thin or place transplants to desired spacing. We recommend approximately 4 inches apart for leaf lettuce varieties, 8 inches apart for loose-head types, and 16 inches for firm-head types.
How to Harvest Lettuce
Harvest your lettuce when it is full size but not quite mature. You can remove the outer leaves to harvest and leave the inner leaves to grow. You can pull up the entire plant or cut it off if it is a Butterhead and Romaine variety, or you can pick it when the center is firm if it is a Crisphead variety. *The crisper the lettuce head, the less heat tolerant they will be. Lettuces can tolerate cold, but care should be taken to protect them from wind. Lettuce and other leafy greens have high water transpiration rates and should be kept consistently moist and in well drained soil. If leaves begin to wilt, plants need more water. Hand weed as necessary, but take care of shallow roots.