We rely on our organic garden to provide us with delicious varieties of fresh lettuce from spring through late fall. This is accomplished with three easy techniques.
- Row covers are used for frost protection in early spring and late fall.
- Successive plantings are made a couple of weeks apart for a continuous supply for the kitchen.
- Varieties tolerant of cold are planted as the first and last crops, while those "slow to bolt" are planted in late spring and summer.
Lettuce in a garden is often very pretty. We like to plant it at the edges and corners of our beds where they are easily viewed by passersby. Lettuce may also be planted in the part-shade areas of the garden.
- Technically, a Cool Season crop, however some varieties specifically bred for summer crops may be grown during the warm months.
- Direct seed for best results or use plants started indoors for an early crop.
Planting and Tending
- Direct seed into garden in early spring, summer and fall. For a detailed spring planting schedule, check out this Vegetable Planting Schedule.
- Seed planting depth: 1/8”. Our preferred method is to broadcast the seeds over the prepared bed, with seeds about an inch apart, and then cover with a light application of screened compost. Finish with a gentle watering. Keep soil evenly moist for the best germination results. Another approach is to start seeds indoors and this article is good write-up on how to do it: Lettuce In Every Season.
- Thin lettuces by cutting the leaves. Leaf lettuces often will grow back for multiple crops. The outer young leaves of head lettuces may be picked as needed. Head lettuces eventually need at least 6" of space between them in order to develop mature heads.
- Average number of days until germination: 7-14.
- Plant at the foot of taller plants in late spring and summer so that the lettuce receives a bit of shade and doesn't bake in the sun all day.
- Has no "bad" companions.
Visit the Vegtables Forum at GreatLakesGardeners.com to get answers to your growing vegetables questions. To ask a new question, Register if you haven't already done so(it's free and helps protect the forum from spam), click on Start New Topic, enter your question and click on Post New Topic.
You may also appreciate these books on growing vegetable gardens.