How Far Apart Do You Plant Lettuce? 

Last Updated on August 22, 2022 by Griselda M.

Lettuce is an important vegetable to all sandwich lovers, but how far apart do you plant lettuce to produce a bigger head of fresh leaves?

Lettuce plant spacing should be at least 12 to 18 inches apart. This will give you a big head of fresh lettuce leaves.  Lettuce is easy to grow and is one of the oldest vegetables cultivated.

It is a great source of vitamins and minerals.  Lettuce is one of the most important vegetables to grow as it is easy to grow, and very nutritious.  It is a very popular salad green and is excellent for adding to sandwiches.

Lettuce is a member of the Asteraceae family which is also known as the daisy family. The daisy family also includes daisies, cone flowers, marigolds, and sunflowers.

Lettuce, though easy to grow, needs a lot of space to grow and produce a large head of lettuce. It is a great crop to grow in your home garden.

How Far Apart Do You Plant Lettuce?

Lettuce should be planted at least 12 to 18 inches apart.  There’s a good reason why you don’t grow lettuce close together because of pests and it will not give the plants adequate room to grow. Pests love to eat lettuce, and they have their favorite spots to lay eggs.

When they’re close together, the lettuce leaves will touch each other. When they touch each other, they form a web of lettuce that is perfect for bugs to crawl into while also not giving the individual plants adequate room to grow.

It is a common mistake for gardeners to plant lettuce too close together. This means that the plants are very crowded and can’t put out as many leaves.

Lettuce plants need plenty of room to spread out and grow. Do not overcrowd lettuce as it may cause high humidity and lead to mildew.

Growing Lettuce – How Far Apart Do You Plant Lettuce?

Lettuce is an easy-to-grow vegetable that thrives in loose well-drained soils. It is a cool-season crop and will be available from early to late spring and fall.

Lettuce is available in many different varieties, colors, shapes, and flavors.  To grow healthy lettuce heads, it is important to consider the following:

Location

Lettuce loves the sun, but should not be planted under a very strong sun. Provide it with at least six hours of sun and partial shade to balance it out when temperatures get warmer.

Soil Type

Lettuce is a cool-season crop and prefers loose, well-drained loose accompanied by regular watering and adequate nitrogen. Lettuce can grow in clay or a light sandy soil, as long as you incorporate some compost to improve the growing conditions.

Growing Lettuce - Soil Type

Spacing

How far apart do you plant lettuce: Allow at least 12 to 18 inches between plants and rows to give them maximum space to thrive and grow big heads. Plant your lettuce seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep for best results.

Watering

Lettuce requires moist soil for good growth and good quality leaves.  Water regularly throughout the growing season and keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Fertilizing

Lettuce is an annual vegetable that will grow best when fed a balanced fertilizer.  A balanced fertilizer provides the nutrients needed by the plant. Fertilize about every two weeks during the growing season.

Pests

The main pests that attack lettuce are aphids, cutworms, and earwigs.  Aphids are small often green or brown insects with soft bodies.  They can cause stunted growth and yellowing of the leaves, along with sticky excrement and sooty, black mold.

Use a strong spray of insecticidal soap or put banana or orange peels around the plant to control aphids.  Cutworms cause wilting and severed stems. Remove cutworms by hand.  Earwigs can be controlled by spraying them with a mixture of water and dish soap.

You can plant rows of chives and garlic between your rows of lettuce to help control the aphids. These will work as a barrier for your lettuce plants.

Bonide (BND95349) – Insect Control Systemic Granules, 0.22% Imidacloprid Insecticide (4 lb.)

How Far Apart Do You Plant Lettuce

Diseases

Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that affects lettuce.  It appears as white powder on the leaves and can grow quickly.  It can also be very difficult to get rid of because it can remain on the leaves for many weeks after the plant dies.  

To prevent powdery mildew, remove the affected leaves.  Plant in full sun when possible and provide good air circulation.  Combine one teaspoon of baking soda with one quart of water and spray the plant to prevent mildew.

If powdery mildew is a problem, use a fungicide.  Be sure to follow the directions on the label.

Pollination

Lettuce does not need bees to pollinate since they don’t produce fruit. Most leafy vegetables don’t need bees to grow.

Harvesting

Lettuce is usually harvested when it reaches maturity.  The best time to harvest lettuce is in the morning. The lettuce should be full-size but young and tender. 

Store your lettuce in the fridge up to 10 days after harvesting. Wash your lettuce before consuming it. If your lettuce begins to wilt, put the leaves in a cold bowl of water with ice cubes and soak for around 15 minutes.

Harvesting lettuce

In Summary – How Far Apart Do You Plant Lettuce? 

How far apart do you plant lettuce? It is important to consider when growing these vegetables.

For the same reasons that you want to grow these crops in a row, you also want to space them out to give each plant room to spread out and grow. This is especially important for lettuce because it is susceptible to pests and diseases if you don’t leave enough space between plants.

Start seeds indoors about one month before the last frost to get a head start before planting outside. Plant seeds 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch deep for best germination and set the rows 12 to 18 inches apart. You can sow the seeds in containers before transplanting the plants into your garden.

FAQs

Can you plant lettuce close together?

No, it is not advisable to plant lettuce close together to prevent pest infestation. The lettuce will also not grow well if it is overcrowded.

How close can you plant romaine lettuce?

We recommend planting at 12-18 inches apart from plant to plant.  You can buy seed from the supermarket and grow your own in a window box or small pot.

How much space does lettuce need to grow?

Lettuce needs a minimum of 12-18 to grow.  A good-sized bed should be around 3m x 2m (10x8 feet).