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Growing Tips - Lettuce can be grown in any sunny location, and in just about any type of situation. In addition to the conventional garden, lettuce grows well in all types of planters, and can be intermixed in annual flower beds for a variety of color and textures.
Generally, no one wants hundreds of lettuce varieties to mature at the same time, so we recommend starting varieties indoors with the aid of our Jiffy Pellets. It is quite easy to set up lights for starting seeds indoors (and you get a jump on the gardening season), or you can refer to our various seed-starting plant stands. Your pre-started plants can be set directly out in the garden, Jiffy Pellet included (netting is bio-degradable), avoiding transplant shock. Start a dozen or so of different types of varieties every two weeks. This way you will have a succession of garden fresh lettuce all season long. Use row covers for protection against frost, excessive wind damage, and insects.
Fresh Market Grower Tips:
With its sweet, mild flavor, fresh colors, and lush ruffled appearance, lettuce is a customer favorite. Display classic green heads interspersed with blushed and red heads for a truly striking market presentation. Customers have also discovered the convenience and refined look of baby lettuce mixes. Use one of our pre-mixed blends, or blend your own, striving for diversity of color, texture, and leaf shape. Direct sow the mixed seed, and harvest at 3-4" tall; cut above the plant’s crown so leaves will regrow for a second cutting. Make successive plantings to ensure a fresh supply of lettuce, and choose heat tolerant varieties for hot summer months.
As soon as your soil is workable in spring, you can plant lettuce, and it tolerates light frosts in the fall. Since it prefers cool weather, mid-summer plantings are the only difficult ones. When planting for summer harvest, use slow-bolting, heat tolerant varieties. When planting in the heat for fall harvest, water frequently to keep soil cool and damp. It will germinate in about 1 week. Lettuce will tolerate many soil types but prefers loose loams (pH 6.0-6.8) or organic soils (pH 5.5-6.0). Raised beds help air movement and soil drainage to control soil-borne root and leaf diseases. When it is available, we recommend using seed tested to be free of seed-borne lettuce mosaic (MTO = mosaic tested to 0 in 30,000 seeds) to eliminate one source of this serious disease. Insects can vector other viruses (CMV, Bidens, etc.) from common weed species onto lettuce. Keep fields, headlands and hedgerows as weed-free as possible. Most of our lettuce seed is offered in a clean, untreated condition.
Maturity Dates are from direct seeding and for variety comparison only.
Pelleted lettuce seed saves time and money
Raw lettuce seed has a difficult shape to precision plant without frustrations and expense due to plantings being too thick or too thin. Pelleted seed can help you avoid these problems. The round/elliptical pellets are firm, smoother and larger than the raw seed. They are much easier to precision plant with most planting equipment in a singulated spacing as you desire. The inert, white pelleting material makes them flow smoothly, easier to see and has no adverse effect on the seed or soil. Just plant them shallow, in the spacing you want and keep them moist. They'll save you thinning time, money and aggravation! Average buildup will fluctuate with raw seed size and density of coating material.
Average Seed Count:
Raw Seed: 1,500 per packet; 25,500-41,500/oz.
Pelleted Seed: 225 per packet; 800-2,100/oz.