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How to Grow Lettuce

Fast-growing and beautiful in the garden, a lettuce patch will keep you in fresh, delicious salads for the entire growing season.

Fast-growing and beautiful in the garden, a lettuce patch will keep you in fresh, delicious salads for the entire growing season.

How To Plant Lettuce

Start: Start lettuce seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. You can also sow directly in loose, average soil after danger of frost last past, as soon as the ground can be worked. Kept evenly moist, seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days. Space and thin plants according to the specific directions of the variety you are growing. Lettuce can be grown in small, rotating crops planted every two weeks to stay in an abundant supply of this fast-growing veggie.

Water: Keep soil evenly moist. Give lettuce a deep watering at least once a week.

Soil: Lettuce loves rich, fertile, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter. pH 6.0-7.0

Light: Full sun.

Fertilize: Once seedlings emerge, choose a well-balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, potassium and phosphate. If using a granular type fertilizer, look for 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 mixtures (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium). Scatter granules around the plants, but don’t allow it to touch the seedlings. Then water well.

Harvest: Harvest lettuce when it is young to avoid tough, bitter leaves. Looseleaf varieties can have leaves picked as they become large enough.
Notes: Lettuce grows best in cool temperatures. During the height of summer, grow lettuce in a sheltered area to keep it from bolting.

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This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Interested in becoming a guest author? Contact us to let us know!

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Margaret Shelton

Plant lettuce in the cool season. Fall. Winter. Spring. With successive seeding and some protection, lettuce will survive winter cold snaps and supply an abundant harvest for months on end. In northern latitudes you need more protection and in the sunny south grow outside in full sun with occasional protection from cold snaps. Frost just makes it sweeter.

L. Houston

Can lettuce and spinach grow together?

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