Flag this photoLettuces are a family of closely related greens, usually but not invariably eaten raw. They have a mild delicate flavor, but can become bitter when the weather is hot or if they're allowed to get water-stressed. Lettuces flourish best in cool weather. They grow well in the spring and fall, but are prone to "bolt," or go to seed, during hot weather. Leaf lettuces generally have better flavor, but iceberg varieties are crisper and juicier. Batavia-type lettuces, popular in Europe, are midway between the two, producing a compact head in the middle of large, dark-green leaves.Related Searches:Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Things You'll NeedBatavia lettuce seedsMulch, aged manure or nitrogen-based fertilizerSuggest Edits1
Sow the Batavia seeds directly into the soil, once it is dry enough to cultivate. The seeds will not germinate until the soil reaches an average temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.2
Seed the rows 12 inches apart, to allow the plants room to grow large heads. As the lettuces grow to thumb size, thin them to a 10- to 12-inch spacing between plants.3
Ensure that lettuces receive full sun for at least part of the day and good light for the remainder.4
Feed the lettuce beds regularly with good mulch, well-aged manure or a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer.5
Harvest your lettuce once you feel the size of the head is adequate. The best time is in the early morning, after the dew has evaporated but while the soil and the lettuce are still cool.Tips & Warnings
Use mulch to keep the soil cool in the summer's heat, which will help prevent the lettuce running to seed. A movable sun shade is also helpful.
Batavia-type lettuces mature in 45 to 55 days and can be harvested before that. To have fresh lettuce all season, plant another half-bed every week or two throughout the summer. Stop planting about a month and a half before the first frost is expected.
Suggest itemReferencesUSA Gardener: How to Grow LettuceHarvest to Table: Five Types of LettuceColorado State University Extension; Health Benefits and Safe Handling of Salad Greens; Marissa Bunning, et al.University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: LettuceResourcesPurdue University Horticulture; The New Salad Crop Revolution; Edward J. RyderPhoto Credit Zedcor Wholly Owned/PhotoObjects.net/Getty ImagesRead Next: Print this articleCommentsFollow eHowFollow
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