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Growing Lettuce

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P P P       P P P P

(Best months for growing Lettuce in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Plant in the garden.

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden, or start in seed trays and plant out in 4-6 weeks.. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 46°F and 81°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-12 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): Carrots, Onions, Strawberries, Beets, Brassicas, Radish, Marigold, Borage, Chervil, Florence fennel, leeks.
  • Avoid growing in same bed: Parsley, Celery
  • Lettuce seedlings
    Lettuce seedlings
  • Lettuce table-ready
    Lettuce table-ready

Lettuce offer a range of shapes, sizes and colours but they are all easy to grow. Choose a variety marked on the seed packet as suitable for the time of year as some do badly in the very hot months. Try to provide some shade to prevent them 'bolting' to flower and seed in the hottest months.

Sow in rows and use thinnings as small salad greens

Lettuce are shallow rooted so water daily in hot or dry weather to prevent bitter flavour. and bolting.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Lettuce

Wash well, spin or shake dry and use in salads and sandwiches

Your comments and tips

07 Feb 09, (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
I'm having trouble with birds shredding young lettuce plants before they're big enough to eat.Thought it could be the hotter summer and birds are thirsty,but they seem to prefer my lettuces better than water bowl.Any suggestions?(apart from covering the plants) Thanks, Ann
25 Nov 14, Matt Sheppard (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Believe it or not, try a small scarecrow in the garden. We have two gardens, each with similar plantings. In one the lettuces have been shredded but the one with the scarecrow is perfect....

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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