Lettuce (Leaf) Growing Guide

Lactuca sativa

Lettuce (Leaf)

Crop Rotation Group



Most soil types, but best in moisture retentive soil with some compost dug in.


Sun to partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

Tolerates light frost, but needs protection from hard freezes.


Not usually required.


Single Plants: 3" (10cm) each way (minimum)
Rows: 3" (10cm) with 5" (15cm) row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Start seeds indoors in early spring, or simply sow fresh seeds where you want them to grow. Scatter seeds atop prepared soil, about one-half inch apart, and barely cover them before patting them into place. Sow more seeds in summer for a fall crop.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


As lettuce seedlings grow, thin them so that the leaves of adjoining plants do not overlap. Mulch open space between plants to retain soil moisture and prevent weeds.


You can pick individual leaves, use scissor or a knife to harvest handfuls of baby lettuce, or grow plants at proper spacing to get large, loose heads.


Shallow lettuce roots need constant moisture. Do not allow the soil to dry out.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Lettuce (Leaf)