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How to Grow Lettuce from Seed

For a continuous harvest over the 6 month Spring and Summer periods plant a tray of plants shown below every 2 to 3 weeks.

The following two lists shows what tools and equipment I used to grow the Lettuce. Not all are strictly necessary but they are listed for completeness. For example - you would only need a heated mat if you had nowhere warm to germinate the seeds - or you can simply use string in place of a line marker - or you can use re-cycled pots from last year if you have them.

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Things You Will Need to Grow Lettuce

Tools You Will Need to Grow Lettuce

Step by Step Guide

If you want a quick overview then I suggest you first watch my Youtube Video How to Grow Lettuce from Seed . The following steps are also in the video but more detail is given in the sections below:

seed packet
Step 1. Buy Some Seeds

Lettuce Seeds are available in Garden Stores or you can buy them on-line.

The variety that I am showing you how to grow here is called 'Little Gem'.

seed packet rear

On the rear of the packet are usually shown growing times and instructions for your region.

plant pots
Step 2: Get Some Pots

You can either use Single Pots ,or Starter Trays (I am using a tray of 6 in the picture).

fill with compost
Step 3: Fill the Pots with Compost

Fill the pots with Compost then gently press it down to remove any air pockets.

water compost
Step 4: Water the Compost

Seeds need air, heat and water to germinate. It is best to moisten the compost before adding the seeds otherwise they can all be washed to the edges of the tray if you water afterwards.

place seeds on compost
Step 5: Place Seeds on the Compost

Place the seeds on top of the compost. For the size of the pots shown in the photo place up to 4 seeds per pot (one in each corner).

cover with compost

Cover the seeds with 10mm (1/4 inch) of compost. Press the compost down gently to remove any air pockets. This allows the seeds to make contact with the moist compost and absorb water which they need to germinate.

Keep warm place (15 to 20 degC) and keep watered. If you dont have a warm room you can buy a Heated Mat that goes under the tray.

seeds germinat
Step 6: Seeds Germinate

Within 14 days the seeds will have germinated. Some may fail and that is why we planted 4 seeds per pot above.

water plants
Step 7: Plant Outside

When the plants are about 3 inch (75mm) tall plant them outside.

Prior to removing the plants from their pots give them a good soaking. This helps getting them out of the pot and stops the roots drying out.

dig soil

Use a Spade and Fork to dig your soil. Remove any stones and weeds. Next use a Rake to rake the soil into a fine tilth.

mark a line

Mark a line where you want to position the plants with a length of string or use a Garden Line Marker.

dig a hole

Dig a small hole using a Hand Trowel. Hold the lettuce plant by its leaves and carefully remove it from the pot. If its roots tangle with other plants in the pot then gently tease them apart.

press soil

Place the roots in the hole and gently press soil around them.

water in

Give the plants a good soaking to establish them into position.

row of plants

The plants should be spaced 15cm (6 inches) apart. Each row shoulf be 25cm (10 inches) apart.

Step 8: Harvest

Within 4 to 6 weeks the lettuce will be ready to harvest. It is best to start taking your first harvest before all are full size so that by the time you eat the one at the end of the row it will be full size.

full grown lettuce

Delicious, hearty organic lettuce!

Step 9: Cutting

To harvest the lettuce you can either pull it out of the ground with all its root or cut it just above the ground using a sharp knife.

cut root
Step 10: Prepare for Eating

When you get the lettuce home first cut off the root with a sharp knife.

wash leaves

Next wash the leaves in cold water. Wash away any soil and discard any discolored leaves.

spin one

Place the leaves in a Salad Spinner.

spin two

Spin the Salad Spinner to remove the water from the leaves.

make salad
Step 11: Eat!

Enjoy a delicious, crisp, fresh salad.

LearnHow2 Youtube Video - How to Grow Lettuce from Seed