All About Growing Lettuce

Learn the ins and outs of growing lettuce, including Loose-leaf, Butterhead, Romaine and Crisphead varieties. All types of lettuce grow best in cool weather, so plan to add it to your garden in spring or fall.

| April/May 2008


Lettuce leaf color and texture vary with variety, but all types of lettuce grow best when the soil is kept constantly moist.

Illustration by Keith Ward

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

From baby leaf lettuce to big, crisp heads, growing lettuce is easy in spring and fall, when the soil is cool. Leaf color and texture vary with variety. All types of lettuce grow best when the soil is kept constantly moist, and outside temperatures range between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Types of Lettuce to Try

Loose-leaf varieties grow tender leaves in dense rosettes, but seldom form crisp inner heads. Some loose-leaf lettuce varieties have superior heat tolerance.

Butterheads and bibb types quickly form small heads of leaves with stout, crunchy ribs. Some varieties have superior cold tolerance.

Romaine lettuce has elongated leaves with stiff ribs. Romaines often tolerate stressful weather better than other types of lettuce.

Crisphead lettuce includes familiar iceberg types, as well as lush and leafy Batavian, or French Crisp, varieties which have great flavor and color, and are easy to grow.

6/16/2016 8:48:41 PM

Some lettuce varieties do better to transplant than others. Not all transplants will live, but if you do it in the evening and cover with a chair or something to help shade your newly transplanted lettuce, keep it watered, most will make it. There seems to be a certain height too that is necessary. I am guess three or four inches tall. Maybe even 5 inches tall. If I transplant mine when the lettuce is too small it doesn't live as much. Using kelp water seems to help it survive too in the beginning days of being transplanted.

6/13/2016 2:37:22 AM

Can you transplant a young lettuce without it dying. I heard it transplant it will die but to many in a small 10 quart pot and can't afford any dying. ??

10/15/2013 3:41:49 PM

I love this post--it's very helpful! The BadAssFarmer gives some awesome tips and tricks on how to grow lettuce organically in a green house! Have you ever tried to grow lettuce organically? Check out his video:

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