How to Grow Lettuce From Seed in Containers


Lettuce is easy to grow in containers. It does not need much space and you can grow several varieties in the same container. You can harvest the baby leaves of many lettuces as you need them and they will continue to grow for several weeks. Look for seed packets with baby lettuce seed or select a variety of loose leaf or head lettuce.

Step 1

Select a container large enough to grow the type and amount of lettuce you want. The seed packet suggests required distance between plants. Loose-leaf lettuces can be a little crowded in a container.

Step 2

Fill the container with organic potting soil, leaving 2 inches at the top.

Step 3

Place lettuce seeds on top of the soil. Distribute them in the container and thin the plants after they sprout.

Step 4

Cover the seeds with additional soil and water, gently using a spray nozzle. In cold winter areas, start the seeds indoors in a sunny spot and move the plants outdoors when the danger of frost is past.

Step 5

Water daily while the seeds germinate and sprout (about five days).

Step 6

Thin the plants when they are 2 inches tall. Leave the healthiest and remove enough to give the plants room to grow. Water daily and check for bugs.

Step 7

Harvest leaf lettuces before they go to seed. You can harvest the young leaves as the plants are growing. Head lettuces will form a solid head as they grow. Harvest these lettuces when the head is fully developed.

Tips and Warnings

  • Lettuce plants will not tolerate full sun. Protect from afternoon sun. Cover the seedlings with screen to keep from birds from eating them.

Things You'll Need

  • Lettuce seed
  • Oganic potting soil
  • Container
  • Screen to cover seedlings
  • Spray nozzle


  • All About Growing Lettuce
  • How to Grow Lettuce

Who Can Help

  • How to Grow Lettuce from Seed
Keywords: growing lettuce from seed, planting lettuce, vegetable gardening, growing organic vegetables

About this Author

Kathleen Sonntag lives in Carmel, California, where she is a writer, teacher and editor. She is a Master Gardener and writes articles for gardening publications. Sonntag has written and edited reading test passages and has edited children's books, cookbooks and memoirs. Her articles appear on Sonntag holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Berkeley.