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Growing Lettuce


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Below are general guidelines for growing lettuce including plant height to enable you to plan exactly where to place them when growing amongst other plants.


For detailed instructions on growing fruit plus in-depth articles on growing your own edible produce visit our sister site or why not visit our gardening blog The Urban Gardener.


Plant Height

Up to 30cm/12" depending on variety

Time between sowing and harvesting

6-14  weeks Depending on Variety

Types include Loose Leaf, Long (e.g. cos, romaine) , iceberg,  butterhead (cabbage types)

Where to Sow


Outdoors in open ground or in containers


Sowing time


Late March to July  - temperature   +10C/50F. 


How to Sow

12mm/-inch deep - very thinly -  in rows 30cm/12" apart or in groups/blocks or in containers. Successive sowing is recommended to prevent a glut. Sow a few seeds every 2 weeks.


After Germination

Start thinning seedlings when the 1st true pair of leaves appear. Protect from slugs. Keep the soil moist but not very wet.


Growing on - 

in Pots

Gradually thin to final spacing depending on variety grown (between 7.5cm/3 inches for loose leaf varieties - good for growing in smaller pots or troughs - up to 30cm/12" apart for whole round/cos varieties)

Growing on -

in open ground

As above


Keep the soil moist with regular watering, preferably before mid afternoon. Continue to protect from slugs


Cut whole heads once the hearts have firmed up.  With loose leaf and baby leaf varieties, cut a few leaves from the outsides of each plant at any once time. These crop over 16-20 weeks.



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