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Sow under glass
Sow outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Lettuce can be grown in most soil types but prefers fertile soil that will retain moisture. Add compost or well rotted manure.

If your soil is very acidic you will need to add lime to bring the pH up to at least 6.0. Pick a spot that gets the sun for the majority of the day, lettuce will also do well in containers filled with compost.

Rake the soil to a fine tilth in preparation for sowing the small seeds

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 6 to 12 days
  • Sow 5mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 30mm
  • Rows 300mm apart
Lettuce can be either sown directly to its final location or started in small pots or containers and then transplanted. Sow seed thinly and cover with a dusting of soil or vermiculite.

For a constant supply sow successively and sparingly every 2 weeks. Bolt resistant varieties should be sown in the hottest weeks.

Growing a bumper crop

Seedlings should emerge relatively quickly so be prepared to protect from birds with netting. If you have sown in rows thin as the plants grow, thinings can be used as 'baby leaves' in salads.

Keep the soil moist at all times, do not let the soil dry out as lettuce is prone to bolting (going to seed early) if the plants are starved of water for any length of time.

Protect from slugs and snails using pellets or your preferred method of dealing with these lettuce lovers!

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 200g per plant
Begin to pick leaves from Looseleaf varieties about 4 weeks after germination. Cut Crisphead, Butterhead and Romaine varieties at their base with a sharp knife as required.

Eat fresh, but wash first... and look out for little beasties hiding in the leaves!

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