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Lettuce Cultivation Guide: Planting & Growing Lettuce in Winter

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Lettuce Cultivation

Lettuce is one of our favorite garden greens because it is considerably superior to store-bought lettuce in terms of taste and vitamin A content. Lettuce is a cool-season crop that thrives in most climates during the spring and fall.

It's a terrific leafy green to grow because it grows quickly, produces for a long time, and requires little maintenance as long as you keep it well watered. It also grows well in raised beds and containers, making it an excellent choice for tiny spaces.

Best Time to Plant Lettuce:

  • As soon as the ground can be worked, direct sowing in the garden is recommended. You can sow seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before your last spring frost date if you want an earlier crop. Even a light frost will kill some lettuce seedlings.

  • Lettuce can be planted whenever the soil temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius), while seeds grow best between 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (13 to 18 degrees Celsius). In 7 to 10 days, seedlings should appear.

  • Transplants purchased from a nursery should be planted as close to the last frost-free date as possible. After they have been suitably hardened off, transplants that were begun indoors can be planted 2 to 3 weeks sooner.

  • Sow extra seeds every two weeks after your original planting to ensure a steady supply of lettuce.

Selection & Preparation of Planting Site:

  • For optimum growth, choose a sunny location. Although lettuce will grow if given fewer than 6 hours of sun every day, it will still grow if given less than that.

  • The soil should be loose and drain easily, keeping it moist but not waterlogged.

  • Work in the composted organic matter one week before seeding or transplanting to keep the soil fruitful.

  • A well-tilled seedbed is crucial because the seed is so small. Germination will be hampered by stones and huge clods of earth.

  • Weeds have a hard time competing with lettuce. Weeds can be controlled by planting lettuce close together.

  • Most diseases are less likely to occur when sites are changed from year to year.

How to Plant Lettuce:

  • Seeds should be planted at a depth of 18 to 14 inches. Because lettuce seeds require light to germinate, don't plant them too deeply.

  • When seedlings have 3 to 4 genuine leaves, they can be trimmed.

  • Before planting into the garden, transplants should have 4 to 6 mature leaves and a well-developed root system.

  • Allow 12 to 15 inches between each planting row for seeded or transplanted lettuce. Here are some guidelines for different types of lettuce:

  • Loose-leaf lettuce: Plant or thin to 4 inches apart.

  • Romaine (cos) and butterhead (loose-head, Bibb, Boston) lettuce: Plant or thin to 8 inches apart.

  • Crisphead (iceberg) lettuce: Plant or thin to 16 inches apart.

  • At the time of transplanting, give the plants plenty of water.

  • To keep pests at bay, place rows of chives or garlic between your lettuce plants.  They act as lettuce's ‘border plants’. You can easily grow garlic at home by following a few tips.

If you follow this guide, you’ll have a good quality of lettuce in no time! Be sure to check out our next article on how to take care of lettuce in winter along with the harvest tips.

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