Lettuce is a popular vegetable among home gardeners. While the typical grocery store only offers a handful of lettuce types, hundreds of varieties are available for growing. Fresh lettuce is crisper and has a much sweeter taste than varieties available for purchase from the local market. Lettuce grows best in cool months, most often in the spring and fall months. While lettuce is fairly easy to grow and can be directly seeded in the garden, it thrives in the best conditions--healthy, nutrient-rich soil with plenty of water.
Rake or rototill the soil, working to 8 inches deep until the soil is loosened. Using a rototiller, dig the tines into the soil until the depth is met. If using a rake, break up the soil with a rake until the depth is met.
Till the soil in rows, working in a straight line. At the end of each row, turn and till to the opposite end.
Sort through the soil by hand to find any rocks or weeds. Remove and dispose of them.
Empty compost or manure bags into a wheelbarrow.
Shovel the compost or manure on top of the garden soil, adding a 3-inch layer.
Till the soil again to incorporate the compost or manure. Till in rows until the garden area is re-tilled.
Drag a rake back and forth across the soil until it is level.
Water the soil until it appears saturated.
Poke a small indention--about a half inch deep--in the soil with your finger. Place two to three lettuce seeds in the hole and re-cover with soil.
Plant seeds 4- to 12-inches apart, depending on variety. Follow the instructions on the seed packet for spacing.
Water the soil surrounding the plants whenever it feels dry and warm.