Below are just general guidelines as there are too many types and
varieties to list them all here. You are advised to refer to growing
guides on seed packets for specialist lettuce.
Height Up to 30cm/12" depending on variety
Spread 30cm/12" depending on variety
Yield per 1.5cm/5ft row
Time between sowing and harvesting
6-14 weeks Depending on Variety
Types include Loose Leaf, Long (e.g. cos, romaine) ,
iceberg, butterhead (cabbage types)
Where to Sow
Outdoors - in open ground, growbags or containers
Late March to September - temperature
How to Sow
12mm/½-inch deep - very thinly - in rows 30cm/12"
apart or in groups/blocks or in containers. Successive
sowing is recommended to prevent a glut. Sow a few seeds
every 2 weeks.
Start thinning seedlings when the 1st true pair of leaves
appear. Protect from slugs. Keep the soil moist but not very
Growing on - in Pots
Gradually thin to final spacing depending on variety grown
(between 7.5cm/3 inches for loose leaf varieties - good for
growing in smaller pots or troughs - up to 30cm/12" apart
for whole round/cos varieties). Allow 4-5 lettuce per
Growing on - in open ground
Keep the soil moist with regular watering, preferably before
mid afternoon. Continue to protect from slugs
Cut whole heads once the hearts have firmed up. With
loose leaf and baby leaf varieties, cut a few leaves from
the outsides of each plant at any once time. These crop over
Yellow patches on leaves with a greyish mould underneath
Remove the infected leaves and apply an organic copper
spray/dust to diseased and surrounding plants every 7-10 day Chemical
Remove the infected leaves and spray with Dithane at first
sign of attack
Avoid damp or humid sites and
overcrowding. Practice crop rotation.
Leaves puckered with pale or yellow mottling
None - destroy all infected plants
Organic This virus is carried by greenfly.Spray young plants with a weak solution of soapy water
as soon as you see aphids.
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants Chemical Spray with an insecticide containing
Young leaves are eaten - sometimes completely missing
1. Sink small pots filled with beer to ground level. Empty daily
2. Sprinkle slugs with table salt Chemical
Use slug pellets
Avoid damp or humid sites
Roots and stems gnawed - sometimes cut all the way through
Hoe the soil around the plants and destroy the caterpillars
which are brought to the surface. Chemical
Spray with Malathion at first sign of attack
Practice crop rotation.
Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber
If you know aphids are a problem in your area, grow flowers such as
nasturtiums, calendula asters, dahlias, and zinnias nearby but not
too close, as aphids find them attractive so they act as a lure.
Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers
nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".
To learn more about companion planting click
In the Kitchen
Refrigerate for up to 7 days
Separate the leaves and wash well in cold water. Dry in a salad spinner
or with kitchen paper towels.
Lettuce is most often eaten raw and can be added to many types of
salads. However, they can be cooked - particularly the firmer types such
as cos, whose sturdier stem will keep the leaves in tact.
As lettuce generally has a mild
somewhat bland flavour, making a well seasoned dressing - either oil
based or mayonnaise based - to serve with it is a good idea.
Larger leaves are also suitable
to use as wraps for other ingredients.
For more preparation and cooking information about lettuce plus lots
of recipes visit our sister site