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  Grow Your Own Lettuce
  February 19th, 2005

How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Lettuce from Seeds

  • Plant in full sun. Don’t plant it in the same spot twice, or it may succumb to wilt.
  • Dig deeply prior to planting. Mix in organic soil amendment and add fertilizer that’s recommended for vegetables to the top 6 inches of soil, following package directions.
  • Distribute the seed down a wide row, or on a raised bed at a rate of about 3 seeds for every 2 square inches of soil surface.
  • Cover the seed very lightly with potting soil (about 1/4 inch), and water by sprinkling lightly (use a misting valve). Continue to keep the seed bed damp by sprinkling daily until the seeds sprout – in three to seven days. Then lengthen the watering times and water more deeply. (If your lettuce seeds don’t germinate, your soil may be too salty. Give the soil a long deep soaking to leach out salts. Plant again with fresh seed.)
  • Stimulate fast growth with plenty of water and fertilizer.
  • Protect the plants from slugs.
  • Thin seedlings according to package directions.
  • If you’d like to grow lettuce but don’t have space, plant it in pots or half-barrels filled with potting soil.
  • Feed every two weeks with liquid fertilizer recommended for vegetables.
  • Harvest whole heads of lettuce. Leave the roots in the ground, feed and water them, and they will grow new heads. You may lengthen your harvest by taking off only the outside leaves as needed.

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