Planting lettuce seeds can be easy for you if you’ve got the right knowledge. Lettuce is a great addition to one’s stock of vegetable garden at home because of its health benefits.
Hence there comes the importance of attaching them to having them in your kitchen. It’s a crop that likes the cool weather, hence it’s better to plant your lettuce seeds during spring and fall.
Growing lettuce from seeds to becoming a full crop is known to be one of the easiest. Lettuce seeds grow very fast, in fact, you can start harvesting the baby greens within a month of planting.
But on average, they take up to 40 to 50 days to mature. The types that are larger or that produce head needs more time to get to maturity. This should be between 60 to 80 days.
Growing lettuce is beneficial. That is why having them in your garden will provide you with fresh homegrown organic greens for months. So let’s take a look at the process of planting lettuce seeds.
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Different Types Of Lettuce Seeds To Plant
The lettuce seeds come in varieties that you can choose from. You can find them on seed racks and catalogs, just choose the one that is suits your preference and your regional climate.
The leaf lettuce still remains the best because of how fast it grows. It also gives you the privilege of having a steady supply of luscious greens for weeks. Let’s look further into the various types of lettuce seeds.
- Oakleaf: The oakleaf lettuce can be grown as leaf lettuce and can be continuously harvested while growing. It is better to start harvesting it because the plants will produce full-sized heads when they are left to mature. Depending on the variety the leaves can be either red or green and also take the form of oak leaves.
- Looseleaf: The looseleaf is one of the types of lettuce that can be grown easily. It also grows very fast as it only takes between 5 to 6 weeks to produce large loose heads.
- Butterhead: Also called Boston or Bibb, produces beautiful heads with loose soft crisp leaves. The butterhead has varieties that can be grown in regions with high temperatures, suitably during summer. It also has varieties that can be grown in cold regions, suitable for winter.
- Iceberg: Also known as crisphead lettuce is not an easy variety to grow but you can be lucky with it.
- Romaine: The romaine lettuce produces tightly closed heads. This variety is known to be an important ingredient in making Caesar salad.
- Summer Crisp: The summer crisp type is also known as Batavia lettuces. This type looks so much like the loose-leaf type while growing. They begin to produce lovely rounded heads as they grow to maturity. The summer crisp has varieties that can be grown in regions with high temperatures, preferably during summer.
Planting Lettuce Seeds
Lettuce is a type of crop that thrives in cool weather. Hence, the best time to grow lettuce is during spring and fall. In temperatures as low as 40 F, your lettuce seeds will germinate.
But the best temperature for growing and germination is from 60 F and 65 F. To get a successful outcome at growing lettuce, start by choosing a location that gets up to six to eight hours of sunlight. You can also grow your lettuce in a shady spot but must get three to four hours of sun.
But if there’s not enough sunlight, it will be advisable to plant looseleaf varieties. This is because they grow more quickly than the varieties that produce heads. The next thing should be to mix in one or two inches of compost in your garden bed. You may also mix in organic fertilizer with slow release.
Growing lettuce in containers is also a great idea. This is because the plant has a shallow root system. Lettuce can be grown in pots, baskets, window boxes, or fabric planters. Using any type of container that is four to six inches deep with holes for drainage is also fine.
In order to be able to harvest your crop early, get plastic or fabric-covered mini tunnels to cover your garden beds. This way, you can trap in solar energy. It can also help to protect your plants from low temperatures and frost during early spring or fall.
Methods For Planting Lettuce Seeds
Lettuce seeds can be planted in two ways. They are:
Direct Sowing Lettuce Seeds
This involves directly planting lettuce seeds in garden beds or containers. For direct planting of varieties of seeds of lettuce that produce heads in rows, give the seeds space of two inches apart. This should depend on the varieties you’re planting though.
Endeavor not to plant the seeds deep down in the soil, remember they need the sunlight to sprout. Go ahead and pour a little amount of soil on your seeds. You can begin thinning when your seedlings are growing well.
Transplanting Lettuce Seedlings
This on the other hand entails transplanting lettuce seedlings that were started indoors or bought from a garden center. You can start by transplanting your seedlings into your garden beds or containers in a grid form. Endeavor to give space of at least ten inches between each seedling.
If you’re transplanting multicolored varieties, you can bring creativity to play by arranging the colors to form a checkerboard pattern.
Remember to take note of the specific spacing instructions on the packet of the seeds you bought. Hence, if you’re transplanting in rows, depending on how mature in size of each variety is, give your seedlings space of ten to twelve inches each. And then space the rows by twelve to eighteen inches.
Spacing Your Lettuce Plants
Start thinning your lettuce seedlings once they begin to grow well. Doing this will allow the plants enough space for them to produce good-sized heads when they mature. The ideal spacing should be ten to twelve inches but you can still check the seed packet for specific spacing instructions for each variety.
If you’re growing baby lettuce, make the spacing between each plant a bit closer at about six to eight inches because of the formation of heads. Romaine lettuce can be grown successfully with this method as this type of lettuce produces tight heads.
Conclusion On Planting Lettuce Seeds
Now that you know a lot about planting lettuce seeds, you can go ahead and enjoy several weeks of luscious, tender, and mild-tasting lettuce from your garden.
How long from planting seeds to picking lettuce?
Lettuce seeds grow very fast and you can start harvesting your crops as early as possible, depending on the variety you have. The baby can be harvested within a month of planting but for them to mature they take up to 40 to 50 days. But the types that produce heads need more time to get to full maturity which is between 60 to 80 days.
When to start planting lettuce seeds?
You can start planting lettuce seeds in spring and fall. Lettuce seeds will definitely germinate in temperatures as low as 40 F. But the best temperatures for planting and growing lettuce seeds are between 60 F and 65 F.
How many planting seeds yield one lettuce?
For seed sown directly into the soil, you should have about 10 seeds per foot.
Can lettuce seeds be planted directly in the ground?
Sowing lettuce seed directly on the ground is ideal. Sometimes, transplanting lettuce seedlings might not be easy because the seedlings are quite fragile.