Growing lettuce

Growing lettuce is a great idea for any vegetable garden, and with some good planning you can provide lettuce for your family all summer and into autumn. There are plenty of options in terms of choice – some of my favourites include ‘cut and come again’ varieties that you harvest after just four weeks. You can simply pull single leaves from each lettuce as required, or cut a plant 3cm above the base and let it sprout again. The lettuce just keeps on growing!

Digging in well-rotted manure 1. The autumn prior to planting, dig in plenty of well-rotted manure. Fork in general fertiliser, then rake to create a fine seed bed for planting.
Sowing lettuce seed 2. Sow seed sparingly in 1.5cm deep drills. Thin plants to final spacing when they are strong enough to handle.
Lettuce seed in modules 3. As the germination of lettuce seed can sometimes be poor, you may prefer to sow the seed in modules. Make sowings small but frequent, so you can stagger your supply throughout the growing season.
Watering lettuce 4. Water well after both sowing and planting as a constant supply of moisture is vital to success.
Growing lettuce 5. Hoe around the plants and hand weed regularly to remove weeds that will compete with the plants for nutrients.

Lettuce tips

  • Lettuce is liable to run to seed, so don’t delay in harvesting them when fresh and ready.
  • Young plants do not transplant well in dry weather.
  • Because of the number of varieties, always pay close attention to supplier and seed pack instructions.

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