Sunlight: Full sun to partial shade
Maturity: 40-50 days
Height: 6 to 18 inches
Spacing: 3 to 4 inches apart, 12 to 18 inches between rows
Home gardeners are growing lettuce for its colorful, healthy leaves full of vitamins A and B. A cool season annual, lettuce is a member of the Asteraceae family and has been cultivated for ages, perhaps longer than any other vegetable crop.
Fun Fact: The average American eats about 30 lbs of this popular leafy, green garden vegetable each year.
Easy to grow and quick to mature, lettuce is a backyard garden favorite.View all
All heirloom lettuce seeds offered by Planet Natural are non-treated, non-GMO and NOT purchased from Monsanto-owned Seminis. Planting instructions are included with each packet and shipping is FREE!
- Choose from leaf lettuce or head lettuce
- Start indoors or plant outside in spring
- Needs partial shade and well-drained soil — protect from heat
- Can be planted every two weeks for a constant supply
- Harvest by cutting at the base of the leaves or heads
- Pests include earwigs, aphids, slugs, deer and rabbits
Lettuce will require partial shade in warm climates, plus rich, sandy soil and regular water. Work the soil thoroughly (break up any clumps and remove debris) prior to planting. If planting seeds, rake the surface smooth. Transplants can tolerate a rougher planting bed. Dig in plenty of garden compost and soil amendments rich in nitrogen to promote good leaf development.
Tip: Add kelp meal to planting beds. It’s packed with micronutrients and is especially good for supplying trace minerals to edible crops.
How to Plant
Sow lettuce seed directly into prepared garden beds two to four weeks before the last expected frost. Try broadcasting seeds over a wide row and gently raking them in to a depth of 1/8 inch deep. Grow head lettuce, such as romaine and loose leaf varieties, by thinning crops gradually to allow the most robust plants to mature into heads. For a steady supply of leaf lettuce, plant every 10-20 days and remember to shade plants in the summer, or they will bolt and turn bitter. To promote rapid growth, apply Alaska® Fish Fertilizer or other organic liquid fertilizer once or twice during the gardening season.
Avoid high heat and disturbing roots for a bumper lettuce crop. Mulching with a quality organic compost will help deter weeds and conserve moisture loss (see What’s in Commercial Compost).
Greens are an excellent choice for hydroponic systems. Our indoor grow kits are the best available and ship complete with everything you need to get started.
Harvest outer leaves to encourage inner, tender leaves to grow. Lettuce is crispest if picked in the morning. Use a pruning knife to cut heads just below the lower leaves, or pull them out by the roots. Head and romaine lettuce mature about 70 days from seed; leaf lettuce matures in about 40 days.
Leaf lettuce and mesclun will regrow if just the leaves are harvested. Water and harvest again a few weeks after the first harvest!
Insects and Diseases
Use OMRI Listed diatomaceous earth to protect lettuce from earwigs, aphids and slugs which can occasionally cause problems on the crop. Prevent foliage rot by providing good soil drainage and air circulation around crops. Watering on bright sunny mornings will allow the leaves to dry by evening.
Seed Saving Instructions
There is only a slight chance of cross-pollination between lettuces. As a precaution, separate by 25 feet from other varieties that are going to seed. Allow plants to bolt and form seed stalks. Seed heads may need to be protected from bird damage and rain when drying. Seeds are produced over a 2-3 week period and will require repeated harvesting.
Contains NO sewage sludge or bio-solids that are often found in commercial brands.
Dried Blood (13-0-0)
Used for years by growers as a powerful, slow release source of nitrogen (13%).
Kelp Meal (1-0.5-2)
Derived from Norwegian seaweed and infused with beneficial microbes.
Use to sow your rows with precision. Works fast with just the click of the thumb.