Scatter seed on soil surface as thinly as possible
Seeds Per Ounce
Space Between Plants
Leaf type: Red Sails, Green Ice, Oakleaf
Butterhead type: Cindy, buttercrunch, prizehead
Heading type: Ithaca, Salinas
Seed Viability (Years)
49 days at 32° F 15 days at 41° F 7 days at 50° F 4 days at 59° F 3 days at 68° F 2 days at 77° F to 90° F
Lettuce should be planted in cool weather, about two weeks before the expected date of the last frost. Lettuce goes to seed when daytime temperatures average 90° F or higher.
Scatter the seeds thinly on the soil surface and cover with a 1/4" to 1/8" layer of soil, sand or soft potting mixture. The seed must be shallow enough to get ultraviolet light to germinate but must not get too hot nor be allowed to dry out.
Leaf lettuce is easier to grow than head lettuce, especially in a hot, desert climate. To be sweet and tender, it must grow fast in cool weather. A late-season crop planted in August has excellent flavor but can be difficult to get to germinate in hot weather.
Lettuce should be thinned out when it is only an inch or two tall as crowded plants develop a strong flavor.
Scatter seeds thinly in wide-row plantings and thin the first time using a rake.
Lettuce, particularly leaf lettuce, makes an attractive, edible border for flower beds and other decorative gardens. It lends itself to mixed plantings in container gardens.