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Lettuce can grow throughout the year in garden areas that have minimum temperatures in the 60s. Lettuce seeds germinate, depending on the variety, at temperatures between 40 and 80 ° F.

How To Grow Lettuce Overview

A limited introduction is necessary for lettuce. The lettuce that forms dense heads for the entire harvest include varieties of butterhead, the upright Roman and cos lettuces, and the usual, crunchy iceberg. 

Loose Leaf lettuces can be harvested entirely or a couple of leaves at a time, “cut-and-come-again.” Choose from classic bowl lettuce, pleasant styles of oakleaf, or any other colorful leaves that will shine garden beds and ornamental borders.

  • Lettuce an be grown in your garden from seeds or transplants.
  • For up to five years the lettuce seeds are viable.
  • Start the lettuce indoors 4 weeks before the planting; sow or transplant the lettuce into the garden when the soil can be worked.
  • Seed germinates at or near 70 ° F (21 ° C) within two to ten days, but seeds may often take up to 2 weeks to germinate if the soil is cold.
  • Maintain the soil consistently moist until seed germinates and keep the soil damp until seedlings are adequately established.
  • Plant 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 inch (6-13 mm) deep.
  • Sow seeds 4 “(10 cm) apart; later thin seedlings by type: leaf, 15-23 cm (6-9”) apart; head, 25-30 cm (10-12) “apart. Make sure the air circulates well around mature plants to prevent diseases.
  • For intensive planting, place plants in a staggered pattern 10 inches (25 cm) apart.
  • Lettuce is best grown in the full sun but can tolerate moderate shade.
  • Lettuce is ready for harvest in 40 to 80 days depending on the type planted.
salad with steak fresh leaf lettuce from the backyard garden
fresh leaf lettuce from the backyard garden

Lettuce Nutrition Information

Raw Lettuce, 1 cup (35 grams)



Total lipid (fat)0.049


Fiber, total dietary0.42g
Vitamin C0.98mg
Calcium, Ca6.3mg
Magnesium, Mg2.45mg
Phosphorus, P7mg
Potassium, K49.4mg
Sodium, Na3.5mg
Energy (Calories)4.9kcal
Carotene, beta105µg
Zinc, Zn0.052mg
Iron, Fe0.143mg

Garden Vegetables & Fruits Plant Preferences Profile

Specific Plant Growing Requirements and Information



Full sun but will tolerate light shade

40 to 80 days depending on the type

Lactuca sativa

Depends on variety grown

Soil rich in organic matter and prefers a pH between 6.0 and 6.8

Highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) will grow best in Zone 4 to 7

Growing Lettuce Detailed Information

Planting Lettuce in the Garden

Lettuce is a mild seasonal vegetable which is ideally planted in springs or fall where there is no intense cold. Even though lettuce likes to grow on cooler, damper days, lettuce germinates best at a temperature of about 70 °F. This means you can begin seeds in the garden at the beginning of the spring rather than with seedlings. If the seed of lettuce remains cold and wet, the seed will literally decompose. You can always start seed indoors and then transplant the plants if there is a chance of frost.

Lettuce seeds need light to germinate, so the seed is lightly covered by soils and kept moist. Lettuce is a fast-growing plant. It is ready for transplantation if several leaves have grown. Do not allow the seedlings to grow too big before they plant or spring into seed the first opportunity they get.

Ideal Soil for Lettuce

Lettuce prefers organic soil like compost or composted manure. This is a crop in which extra nitrogen can not be negatively impacted because the leaf is everything you want from the plant. Adjust the soil in the mid-season between planting and side dress. 

Also, lettuces need daily water more so than fertile soil. If the plants stay dry for long periods, particularly at warm temperatures, they become bitter, the leaves can sunbathe, and the plants can eventually be seeded. However, don’t leave the field wet or use mulch persistently or slugs are welcomed. Lettuce can be grown in summer, provided the plants are given plenty of shade and water. 

The variety you cut down and come back are the best long- season choice. If your salad happens to be bolted, take it out of the dirt, roots and all and replant. This shock will slow down its production. Hold the plant moist until it is established. Lettuce is perfect for seed planting because it ripens fast and can be planted very safely. The collection of seasonal varieties would promote the succession. 

Lettuce may also be planted in pots or used as a decorative landscape. Be mindful that some creatures enjoy lettuce as much as we do.

Harvesting Leaf Lettuce and Head Lettuce

As soon as the outer leaves reach around 6 inches long, you can harvest cut and come styles again. You must ensure to pick before the head begins to stretch out as you expand lettuce. Then it’s about to bolt, and the flavor is going to die. 

Maturing to a head requires time and hence makes it harder to grow without bolting than the loose varieties of leaves. Direct seed or transplant growing seedlings every nine to ten days for the most extended all-season harvest possible. Seeds can be spread and produce in vast quantities or scattered between 8 and 12 inches when directly planted. It’s safer to stagger it until the heads grow.

Varieties of Lettuce

There are practically hundreds of varieties of lettuce available, but some differ only marginally in size or days before harvesting.

Lettuce is classified into four distinct classes.

  • Leaf – Also known as looseleaf, cutting or bunching lettuce,  this type has loosely bunched leaves and is the most widely planted. It is used mainly for salads.
  • Romaine/Cos – Used mainly for salads and sandwiches, this type forms long, upright heads. This is the most often used lettuce in Caesar salads.
  • Iceberg/Crisphead – The most popular type in the United States, it is very heat-sensitive and was originally adapted for growth in the northern United States. It ships well, but is low in flavor and nutritional content, being composed of even more water than other lettuce types.
  • Butterhead – Also known as Boston or Bibb lettuce, and traditionally in the UK as “round lettuce”, this type is a head lettuce with a loose arrangement of leaves, known for its sweet flavor and tender texture.

The lettuce variety celtuce is grown for its stem, used in Chinese cooking.

  • Summercrisp – Also called Batavian or French crisp, this lettuce is midway between the crisphead and leaf types. These lettuces tend to be larger, bolt-resistant and well-flavored.
  • Celtuce/Stem – This type is grown for its seedstalk, rather than its leaves, and is used in Asian cooking, primarily Chinese, as well as stewed and creamed dishes.
  • Oilseed – This type is grown for its seeds, which are pressed to extract an oil mainly used for cooking. It has few leaves, bolts quickly and produces seeds around 50 percent larger than other types of lettuce.
  • Red leaf lettuce.
The butterhead and crisphead types are sometimes known together as “cabbage” lettuce, because their heads are shorter, flatter, and more cabbage-like than romaine lettuces.


Stir-Fried Lettuce

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Keyword: lettuce other than salad, stir fry lettuce
Servings: 4 people
Author: Patricia Tanumihardja


  • Wok


  • 2 romaine lettuce hearts 14 oz
  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds


  • Trim the romaine lettuce and cut it crosswise into 1-inch (2.5-cm) wide pieces.
  • Pat the lettuce completely dry.
  • Place a wok or medium skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute.
  • Carefully swirl in the oil.
  • When the oil is shimmering hot but not yet smoking, add the garlic and then toss in the romaine lettuce in batches, stirring after each addition to coat the lettuce with oil before adding the next batch.
  • This should take a total of about 2 minutes.
  • The lettuce will have just begun to wilt.
  • Add the soy sauce and sugar and give it a quick stir to coat the lettuce well.
  • You want the lettuce to be almost tender yet still a little crisp and still bright green.
  • Drizzle the sesame oil over the lettuce and immediately remove it from the heat.
  • Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Serve immediately.

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