I started some lettuce seedlings in January indoors under my T5 grow lights. I’ve been harvesting some leaves as needed. Now I am in the process of transplanting them outside.
Here is what I am growing so far: Valentine Lettuce Mix and Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce from Botanical Interests and the All Season Butterhead Mix and All Season Romaine Mix from The Cook’s Garden / Burpee. If you need some more seed ideas, just click on it.
Don’t forget you can grow lettuce according to the seed packet instructions for spacing if you want a whole head. If you plant the seeds closer together, you can harvest small baby leaves.
According to the Territorial Seed catalog, lettuce will germinate in soil with temperatures between 40 and 80 degrees F and grows best between 60 to 70 degrees F which is why it is a cool season vegetable! There are varieties of lettuce that grow better in the cooler weather and some that are more heat tolerant. You can provide lettuce with some shade with a cloth on a hoop tunnel or by growing it under a taller plant in early summer. I think I will start another batch of seedlings indoors now and again in late July to transplant outside.
Here are some options to try: Direct sow under double cover about 2 ½ months before, under single cover about 2 months before and without any cover about 1 month before the last spring frost date. You may have to play around with the dates a bit depending on your area.