Lettuce Seeds Sowing Instructions:
A traditional oak-leaf lettuce- very high yielding.
It’s increasingly difficult to find good quality, fresh lettuce in the supermarkets. Lettuce is easy to grow and with a little planning, you can eat it fresh for 9 months of the year.
There are four main types of lettuce. The first three (butterhead, cos and crisphead) form hearts at their centre and are usually grown as proper heads of lettuce. They take longer to mature. The fourth type (loose-leaf/’cut-and-come-again’) doesn’t form a heart and is therefore generally grown as a ‘cut-and-come-again’ crop, where leaves are cut as required. We cover the fourth type in ourSalad Leavessection.
March to August
May to October
Salad leaves can be sown outside from April to August and in a polytunnel or glasshouse from January to October.
For best results we recommend sowing direct into the soil – they can be sown in modules and transplanted, but this often results in them flowering (bolting).
Sow the seed thinly 1cm deep in rows 15cm apart.
You will need to sow regularly if you want a continuous supply of salad – every 2 or 3 weeks – as they often bolt after 2 or 3 harvests.
If you have decided to transplant, plant every 10cm in rows 15cm apart.
Leaf salads grow quickly and can be ready for cutting in as little as three weeks.
Don’t allow the soil to dry out as this will encourage bolting.
Weed when the plants are small as you don’t want weeds in your cut salads.
You can harvest the leaves as soon as they are big enough to eat.
Cut with scissors at around 5cm above soil level – they will grow back in as little as a week.
Cut until they bolt – they can still be eaten at this stage though they might be a bit tough and strong tasting.
Generally, for spring and early summer sowings you get 2 or 3 cuts before they bolt; later summer sowings can last over the winter.
Once they have bolted pull them out of the ground.
Visit the GIY Veg directory for more growing details and tips.