WHEN TO SOW
End of February to July
Where to Sow
Sowings can be made underglass, sow seeds into pots or trays of seed sowing compost at a temperature of 15-20C and lightly cover seeds with sprinkling of vermiculite or compost. Alternatively sow seeds from April thinly along rows 1.5cm (1/2in) deep and 30cm (12in) apart direct in the vegetable plot.
What to do next
Sowings made underglass can be pricked out into individual pots or module trays and grown on until ready to harden off and plant out into the vegetable plot 30cm (12in) apart between the plants and the rows. Seedlings sown direct outside can be thinned once large enough to handle to 30cm (12in) apart. Thinnings can also be transplanted into other rows, watered in well during hot dry spells.
10-12 weeks from sowing
Try broadcasting seed into modular trays and plant without thinning and harvest as required as 'cut and come again' varieties.
A good source of the antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and vitamin C as well as vitamin K and folic acid.
Lettuce seeds can be sown in modules. seed trays or direct into the growing site and thinned to the required spacings as soon as possible. Rows should be about 30cm apart and the seeds sown 1cm deep. Small lettuces can be spaced at 15-20cm distances, whilst large crispheads will need 30-35cm. Regular watering is essential especially the 7-10 days before maturity. Lettuces mature quickly, butterheads at about 10 weeks and crisphead and cos types at around 14 weeks. They will not stand for more than 5-7 days once mature before running to seed, so successful successional sowing or the use of the "cut and come again" types is required. Sowings begin in February under glass at 15°C followed by outdoor sowings under cloches until late autumn. Sowings for overwinter production uses cloches and glasshouse. Germination difficulties may be experienced in July and August as lettuce seed will go into dormancy if sown in very hot weather.