Read more

Growing lettuces from seed – Step by Step Guide

Growing Lettuces From Seed – Step by Step Guide

Growing lettuces from seed is easier and much cheaper than buying the produce from the farmer’s market every time you want to eat your salad.

Lettuce is one of the favorite greens.  It is superior in vitamin content and taste.  This popular salad green is one of the easiest crops to grow in pots and garden beds.

It grows fast and is ready for picking about a month from planting the seedling.  In less than 2 months it forms full heads that are ready for your salad.

Are you ready to learn how to grow lettuce from seeds?    It is fairly straightforward to grow these greens.  And you can use different methods to achieve this.  This guide will show you the best way to do it.

Quick Facts About Lettuce

  • Lettuce is a cool-weather crop that is best grown in fall and spring.
  • The seeds germinate in low temperatures of about 4 C or 40 F.
  • The ideal growing temperature is between 60 to 65 F or 16 to 18 C
  • Lettuce requires 6 to 8 hours of direct sun but can also be grown in partial shade with 2-3 hours of sun
  • Loose-leaf varieties grow faster than the other types and can grow in low light
  • Lettuce does well in pots too because they have a shallow root system
  • They do not thrive in frost – frost kills them
  • They prefer soil that is around 6.0 to 6.8
Quick Facts About Lettuce

Step By Step Guide On Growing Lettuces From Seed

Sow lettuce seeds indoors 4 weeks before transplanting.  The seeds germinate in 2 to 10 days or 2 weeks if the soil is too cold.  Avoid using soil that is too cold. Keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate and are well established.

If you choose to sow seeds directly in the garden, sow them 4 inches apart.  Later on, after germination, thin the seedlings according to the type of lettuce you have planted.  Head lettuce leaves them 1- to 12 inches apart, leaf lettuce leaves them 6-9 inches apart.  Keep your plants well spaced to allow good air circulation and avoid diseases.  For intensive planting, space the plants about 10 inches apart in a staggered pattern.

Once the soil can be worked on, make planting beds that are ¼ to ½ inch deep. Add compost or old manure to planting beds.  Compost feeds the soil and aids in moisture retention.

Transplant your lettuce seedlings into the prepared planting beds. Allow them time to grow and in about 2 months you can harvest your lettuce. If you would wish to have an extended harvest, make successive sowing every week.

Avoid planting lettuce where endive, radicchio, artichokes, or escarole have grown recently.

Look out for aphids, cutworms, flea beetle, leaf miners, earwigs, slugs, and snails that attack lettuce. Early spotting of any of these insects helps with early treatment with the right pesticide.

Caring For Lettuce Growing From Seed

Fertilize.  Lettuce thrives in soil that is high in organic material with plenty of compost and a good supply of nitrogen.  These nutrients make them grow fast.  Fertilize your lettuce 3 weeks after transplanting with a slow-release fertilizer or organic alfalfa.

Moisture.  Keep the soil moist but not overly wet.  Your soil should drain well so that it doesn’t retain water.  Lettuce will tell you when it needs water by looking at it.  If the leaves show signs of wilt, sprinkle them with water and water them properly. You can use organic mulch to help conserve moisture, suppress weeds and keep the soil temperatures cool during the warm months.

Weeding.  If you notice weeds growing, weed by hand if need be.  But be careful of damaging the plant’s roots because they are shallow.

Caring For Lettuce Growing From Seed

Harvesting Lettuce

  • Harvest your lettuce heads when they are full in size just before maturity.  The leaves taste fresh when still young and tender.
  • Harvest the ready lettuce leaves by removing outer leaves so that the center leaves continue to grow.
  • Romaine, Butterhead, and loose-leaf types can be harvested by removing the outer leaves, digging up the whole plant, or cutting the plant an inch above the soil surface.
  • If you leave your lettuce to mature, they get woody and bitter and go bad quickly.  Check your garden every day to identify lettuces that are ready to be picked.
  • Pick your ready lettuce early morning when the leaves are most fresh and crisp before they are exposed to the sun.
  • If you harvested through cutting, you can choose to wait for new leaves to grow or plant a second round of seeds.
  • Once harvested, keep your lettuce in your refrigerator for about 10 days in a loose plastic bag.

AeroGarden Salad Greens Mix Seed Pod Kit

Planting Lettuce

We have equipped you with all the knowledge you need for growing lettuces from seed.  You can go ahead and confidently grow these salad darlings and enjoy them as often as you wish.


How long do lettuces take to grow from seed?

If you buy a packet of seeds, they should be labeled with the estimated time for growth from seed to harvest. The range of this time is usually two weeks to four weeks, but some varieties can take as little as one week and others can take as long as six weeks. You can also check with your local gardening store or other reputable source to see what they recommend.

Why grow lettuce?

My experience has shown me that you can easily grow a beautiful salad in your own garden. Lettuce is easy to grow and has very few requirements.

For lettuce seed, you can grow it indoors in a pot or directly in the ground. The first method is easier and safer (more control). The second one is more natural and requires less space, but is more prone to pests and diseases.

How do you grow lettuce seeds?

This is an easy to follow guide on how to grow lettuce seeds. If you are looking for a good lettuce seed, then this is the guide for you. We’re going to start from the beginning and go through all the steps to growing lettuce seeds. We’ll also be going over the best lettuce varieties for the garden, so that you can get a great yield.

What You Will Need 1-2 Lettuce Seeds A small pot (3-4 inches in diameter) A tray Seeds Lettuce Seed Grower’s Kit If you are going to buy a kit, then you should definitely buy the one from Gardeners Supply. They have everything you need to grow lettuce seeds:

pots, soil, fertilizer and more. You can find them here. You can also check out their YouTube channel for tips on growing lettuce. How To Grow Lettuce Seeds Lettuce seeds are easy to grow, and this is the best way to get started growing your own lettuce.

Most of these seeds will come in packets or containers, and you’ll need to make sure that they’re kept in a very dry place, like a cool, dark cupboard.

What month do you plant lettuce seeds?

Sow your seed in the fall or early spring, depending on what type of seed you're planting. It's best to sow seeds outdoors in a place protected from the sun's rays, such as a greenhouse or cold frame. Planting in a warm room indoors will encourage germination, but it may take much longer.

What is the fastest way to germinate lettuce seeds?

I've always done it in a large plastic container with a layer of paper towels. I put about an inch of water in the bottom and place the container on top of that. Then I cover it with plastic wrap. Then I put the lid on the container and leave it for about 3 days (it will be too cold at first, so I usually put it under my heating vent).

Does lettuce like full sun?

Some people might think that they can grow it in a shade garden, but lettuce is a very sun-sensitive plant, and if you don't get at least six hours of direct sunlight, you won't get any growth. You'll have to make sure to water the plants regularly, especially if you are growing them in the ground because their roots are quite shallow.