Tips for growing lettuce

Written by Joy

Nov 02 2021

Tips for growing lettuce
Lettuce is one of our common vegetables. In recent years, the planting area of lettuce is also expanding, so more and more people are growing it all over the world. Although lettuce is a bit bitter when eaten raw, its crispy and refreshing taste is still loved by a great number of people. Do you prefer long leaf lettuce or short leaf lettuce? No matter what variety you choose, lettuce is a hardy crop that can grow well in most areas. If you cultivate seeds indoors and start planting after the first frost, with luck, you can make a delicious homemade lettuce salad in early summer. This article mainly introduces how to grow lettuce, hoping it will be helpful to all of you.

Calorie table of lettuce (per 100g)

Calories (kcal) 13 Niacin (mg) 0.4 Potassium (mg) 170
Protein (g) 1.3 Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.05 Sodium (mg) 32.8
Fat (g) 0.3 Folic acid (μg) 31.6 Magnesium (mg) 18
Carbohydrates (g) 2 Vitamin C (mg) 13 Iron (mg) 0.9
Dietary fiber (g) 0.7 Vitamin E (mg) 1.02 Zinc (mg) 0.27
Vitamin A (micrograms) 298 Vitamin K (micrograms) 315 Selenium (μg) 1.15
Carotene (μg) 1790 Calcium (mg) 34 Copper (mg) 0.03
Vitamin B1 (mg) 0.03 Phosphorus (mg) 27 Manganese (mg) 0.13
Vitamin B2 (mg) 0.06   Water (g) 96.7

Planting time of lettuce

Lettuce, such a plant likes a cold climate, so the planting time of lettuce is generally spring and autumn. Spring planting usually starts from February to April, harvesting from May to June, and autumn planting can start at the end of August. It can be harvested from September to October as usual. Because different varieties of lettuce have different characteristics, when choosing the sowing time, gardeners should first understand the instructions of the lettuce seeds which they purchase, and then combine the above sowing time for sowing. Spring and summer seasons are suitable for sowing loose leaf lettuce (such as butter lettuce, colorful leaf lettuce), which is more heat-resistant, and autumn and winter seasons are suitable for sowing head lettuce (also called western lettuce), which is not heat-resistant.
growing lettuce

Cultivating lettuce seeds

Choose lettuce varieties

What kind of lettuce plant do you like best? Most lettuce plant requires the same care, so if you want your salad to have different types, you can try to grow multiple types at once. Buy your favorite lettuce plant seeds ready to grow. Here are some popular types of lettuce growing.

Short leaf lettuce

You can use this lettuce in burgers and sandwiches, or make a cool and crispy fresh salad if you like.

Long leaf lettuce

The leaves of this lettuce are delicious and crunchy.

Butter head or Boston lettuce

growing lettuce
The leaves of lettuce are soft, verdant, and nutritious.

Pine Leaf Varieties

These bright green, healthy lettuce are often sold in the spring because they prefer warmer climates than other types of lettuce.

Decide whether to grow lettuce seeds indoors or outdoors

Either way, lettuce can be grown very well, but growing indoors has the opportunity to grow more than one crop in a season. If you want to have fresh lettuce on the table all summer and fall, it's a good choice to start growing more lettuce seeds indoors and grow them outdoors later.

Prepare the tray for the of lettuce seeds

You can use a seed tray bought in a store, or a carton or carton for your own eggs, or use newspaper to make a seedling pot to grow vegetable seeds. You'd better fill the top 1/2 inch (1 inch = 2.54 cm) of the seed tray with soilless culture medium. After that, it's time to wet the medium to prepare the seed for sowing.
growing lettuce
The seeds already contain the nutrients they need to germinate, so you'd better not plant them directly in the soil. You can buy a growing medium or use perlite, vermiculite and refined sphagnum to make the medium. Mix together in a ratio of 1:1:1.
Since the seeds will be transplanted to flat ground once they germinate, the performance of the seed tray is not very important.

Plant the of lettuce seeds 4-6 weeks before the land warms up

This will allow them to germinate the of lettuce seeds before the ground becomes soft enough to plant. After spreading the seeds evenly in the seed tray, gardeners ought to use your fingers to gently press them into the growing medium.

Provide of lettuce seeds with plenty of sunlight and water

It's a great choice to place the tray in a sunny window and keep the medium moist at all times. If it dries, the of lettuce seeds may not grow.
You can cover the seed tray with several layers of newspaper in a week or so until the seeds germinate. You'd better keep the newspaper moist at all times, and replace it when you see green shoots appearing in the newspaper.
growing lettuce
You need to be careful not to over-water the of lettuce seeds. Seeds that are overly moist may not grow.

Land to be planted

You should plan to grow lettuce after the last frost in spring. This is a good choice to choose an area with good soil drainage and plenty of sunlight. It is necessary to use a soil looser or spade to remove dirt, rocks, sticks and weeds in the area. You'd better plan to apply compost or fertilizer approximately one week before planting the of lettuce seeds.
Lettuce is hardy, but under certain conditions, it cannot grow normally. Make sure that the soil is not too humid, as it will contain a lot of nitrogen that your body need.
It is necessary to ensure that the soil of of lettuce is rich in humus. Gardeners could consider talking to your local nursery staff and discuss how to enrich the soil in your specific area to make it ideal for growing lettuce.

Growing lettuce from seed

For short-leaf lettuce and long-leaf lettuce, you'd better dig a hole every 16 inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm), and for pine leaf lettuce varieties, digging a hole every 8 inches (1 inch = 2.54 cm) is proper. The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the root ball of the plant. After extracting the lettuce seedlings from the seed tray and place them in the holes, it's a good idea choice to tap gently to keep the soil around the roots vertical, and water it until it is completely wet.
growing lettuce
Experts recommend using a watering can or nozzle hose diffuser to water the lettuce.
It is worth noting that you'd better not submerge the seedlings completely in water, and you just make sure the soil of of lettuce is completely moist.

Plant more lettuce seeds

On the other side of the garden, you can plant another seedling that will be later, so you will have a longer lettuce growing season. After loosening the ground, it's time to sprinkle seeds on 1/2 inch (1 inch = 2.54 cm) of soil. A pack of seeds can cover about 100 feet of land (1 foot = 30.48 cm).
It is best to start growing pine leaf lettuce varieties from seeds. They will grow later because they are more resistant to heat than short-leaf lettuce and long-leaf lettuce, and they are less likely to wilt in the hot summer.
growing lettuce
It's necessary to water the seeds thoroughly after planting. And then you need to fertilize the lettuce 3 weeks after planting. You could use alfalfa meal or slow-release fertilizers, which are rich in nitrogen and can make lettuce grow faster and better. (Find more Winter Vegetables here.)

Keep watering the lettuce

If the leaves look withered, they need to be watered. Sprinkling some water on the lettuce every day is vital, and at any time the leaves will look a little soft and weak.

Harvesting lettuce

When the lettuce leaves look edible, they should look like the lettuce leaves you buy at the grocery store. It's time to pick them directly from the plant. In a few weeks, when the plants are mature, you will want to cut the whole lettuce from the ground. If you leave it in the ground, it will eventually deteriorate.
You'd better harvest lettuce leaves in the morning. They will be more crispy after overnight, if you pick it earlier, this crispy portion will stay there.
Lettuce begins to dehydrate under high temperature conditions and is approaching the end of the growing season. It begins to seed and has a bitter taste. You can stop this situation by breaking the central part of the plant. If the lettuce hasn't wilted, just pull it up as quickly as possible.

Store the harvested lettuce in the refrigerator

If you don't eat lettuce right away, you can keep it in the refrigerator. If you wrap it in some paper towels and put it in a plastic bag, it should last up to ten days.


Mark the place and time of your lettuce

Gardeners can mix several different types and colors of lettuce seeds and plant them in each row. This results in a homemade blend, and after four weeks of planting, you can pick the blossoming lettuce to make a delicious salad.
growing lettuce
If you want to enjoy a continuous supply of lettuce, it's a good choice to consider planting a new row of lettuce every week.

Try to transplant lettuce after planting underground

It is a good suggestion to often avoid planting areas, especially raised areas. Lettuce needs loose, air-permeable soil. Stepping on the planting area will have an influence on the possibility of germination and growth.
If you grow more than a hundred feet of lettuce (1 foot = 2.54 cm) at one time, this method may be inefficient and not very effective. When the scale is larger, a commercial planter can be tried, it can use less time and better efficiency to complete all the steps.

Planting as early as possible

Lettuce likes to grow in cool weather. As long as the soil matches the autumn frost, lettuce can be grown. The lettuce that is expected to mature in 60 days can be planted 60 days before the first frost in autumn. The weather is too hot and the lettuce is dehydrated. All its energy is used to produce new seeds, and the taste will become bitter. If you want to grow in particularly warm areas, youd better choose heat-resistant varieties such as Jericho lettuce. Because it grows so well in cold weather, if you like growing lettuce, you might want to build a cold frame and let it grow in the snowy months.
growing lettuce
You'd better buy pelleted lettuce seeds because it is easier to handle and grow.


What gardeners ought to pay attention to is that you need to wash the lettuce often before eating it, especially if you have used any chemical pesticides or fertilizers. It is best to avoid using these products and use handwork to remove weeds and insects, and use compost and manure as fertilizer. It is good for the soil and good for health.
You'd better not be lazy while weeding, otherwise you may not be able to eat the lettuce salad you want.

What you will need

Sugar cane or something similar
Frame and gardening wool
Garden fork
Metal rake
Stakes and strings
Landscape rake
Plant label (optional)

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