How to Grow Lettuce

Overview

Lettuce is a top crop for gardening beginners who want to grow a vegetable that will not take up a lot of room in the garden and yield in early spring. There four main types of lettuce that you could grow, including leaf, butterhead, romain and crisphead. Leaf lettuce is the most common type of lettuce and also the easiest to grow. Harvest for leaf lettuce can last longer by simple cutting off two to three leaves at a time. You can find lettuce seeds for growing in an outside garden or indoors in a container at the local garden store or online.

Step 1

Plant your lettuce seed no later than four weeks before the last day of frost in order to produce lettuce in the spring (see References). Lettuce can stand frost but it cannot survive in freezing conditions of 10 degrees F or below. A rule of thumb for planting is typically any time between the last week of March and first week of April.

Step 2

Dig a hole that is 1/2 inch deep and wide and insert the seeds into the hole. Cover the hole with the soil and press down gently. Continue digging and planting for more lettuce heads, but make sure that the holes are at least 8 inches apart. Also, plant no more than three seeds per hole.

Step 3

Pour 1/2 cup of water on each seedling at least two to three times per week. Be consistent about the times you water each week to help the growth of the lettuce.

Step 4

Ensure that your seedling isn't receiving too much sunlight. The lettuce needs at least 5 hours of sunlight a day. You may need to provide shading to the plant on extremely hot days. An easy solution is to insert a patio umbrella near the plant once it has received the require sunlight. Also, you can plant shade covering plants, such as Sedum angelina, by the lettuce.

Step 5

Spread a 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer around the seedling a week after you have planted. The lettuce will grow best with a soil pH that is between 6.0 and 7.5. You should see growth within the next few weeks and be able to harvest once the lettuce head reaches the size you prefer.

Things You'll Need

  • 3-1-2 ratio fertilizer
  • 3 lettuce seeds per hole
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Shovel
  • Patio umbrella

References

  • Growing Lettuce - Quick Tips on How to Grow Lettuce
  • All About Growing Lettuce
Keywords: growing lettuce, easy vegetable, leaf lettuce

About this Author

Greg Lindberg is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in creative writing. His professional writing experience includes three years of technical writing for an agriculture IT department and a major pharmaceutical company, as well as four years as staff writer for a music and film webzine.