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How to Grow Lettuce


Date Posted: June 8, 2016

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener How to Grow Lettuce
photo credit: Mike the Gardener

Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetables to grow at home in your garden. In my experience I have found lettuce will grow in virtually any soil condition even with the smallest amounts of nutrients available. With that said though, lettuce will grow much better when you have properly groomed your soil and picked an ideal location in your garden.

Start Your Lettuce from Seeds

In a given year, we will send out 2 and sometimes 3 different varieties of lettuce in our Seeds of the Month Club shipments. We do this because we get a lot of feedback from members who request different varieties so we do our best to accommodate. Another reason is, lettuce is super easy to grow from seeds. Starting your lettuce from seeds will save you a ton of money over the long haul. You can grow an entire row of lettuce for under $2.00 when you start them from seeds.

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Soil Conditioning for Your Lettuce

As noted earlier, I have been successful growing lettuce in a wide range of soil conditions, sandy, clay, etc., you name it. Even though I have seen that success, I have found that when I mix in plenty of compost into my soil, my lettuce grows much better. This is true for every vegetable, so it makes perfect sense for lettuce as well. Before you plant your lettuce seeds, be sure to mix in plenty of compost to enrich the soil.

How to Grow Lettuce

Pick an Ideal Location to Plant Your Lettuce

If you pick an area in your garden that receives full sun, your lettuce will do great, until it gets too hot. Lettuce likes cooler temperatures and if the sun is beating down on it all day, especially when it gets above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the lettuce could bolt (go to seed) or wilt away. I like to choose a location that receives about 6 hours of sun and gets shade in the mid afternoon. Not an easy task, and there are ways you can create shade for your lettuce with shade cloth, but it is doable. You can also grow lettuce under taller plants, or like I have done, on the side of taller plants so taller plants will block out the sun in the late day.

How to Grow Lettuce


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Planting Your Lettuce Seeds

Planting your lettuce seeds is super easy. First, dig a shallow row where the seeds will go. I like to use a stick and just drag a straight line. This pushes the dirt out on each side creating the groove you need for your seeds. Second, take the lettuce seeds and sprinkle them along the length of the groove you just created. Third, gently push some soil over top of the seeds. Finally, give your seeds a good watering.

How to Grow Lettuce

Care and Maintenance of Your Lettuce

I don’t normally feed my lettuce as the season goes along and it does fine. If you see some wilting of the leaves, discoloration, or even damage, then using a good organic fish emulsion to add nutrients back into the soil will be helpful and beneficial. Some like to water their lettuce a lot, and others not as much. Regardless of which method you go with, I like moderate watering, so I am in between, make sure you water at the root level with a soaker hose or drip irrigation.

How to Grow Lettuce

Harvesting Your Lettuce

Harvesting lettuce is very easy. Do you own a pair of scissors? Then you are all set. Once my lettuce plants grow to maturity, I like to harvest only what I will consume by snipping off the leaves with a sharp pair of scissors. This way I am eating the lettuce when it is fresh, and the plant will continue to grow yielding more lettuce all season long.

Happy gardening!


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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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KEYWORDS:

lettuce in containers, lettuce from seed, romaine lettuce, lettuce indoors, iceberg lettuce, harvest lettuce, lettuce in a greenhouse



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