How to Plant Lettuce

How To Plant Lettuce.

Have I mentioned that I grow most of my plants from seeds?  Seeds that I stick directly in the ground?  In the garden?  Where they will grow into big plants that will make me food?

I do.

Why I do this:

  • It’s easier.
  • It’s cheaper.  1 packet of seeds = dozens and dozens of plants.  Planting seeds in the ground saves me hundreds of dollars.
  • I can plant whenever I want.  I don’t have to wait for the big-box store to sell seedlings.
  • My seeds never go through the “shock” of being moved from an indoor light-hut to the outdoors.
  • They never go through the “shock” of being transplanted.
  • They never go through the “shock” of being relocated from a greenhouse to wind, rain and all the elements.
  • They establish strong root systems and are healthier.
  • Healthier plants mean stronger plants who can withstand attacks from pests and diseases.
  • I like watching seeds emerge from the soil and grow into huge plants that will feed my family.

Lettuce is generally a cool season crop.  It grows best and has the best flavor when grown in cool temperatures.  I’ll be honest.  I grow lettuce all spring, summer and fall.  My secret is to continually plant new seeds.  As long as I harvest the lettuce while it is young the flavor is good.  I have also found that red lettuce is more heat tolerant than other varieties.

Let’s plant some lettuce!

lettuce

I started with a bed.  I have roughly 20 raised beds.  They are filled with a hodge podge of manure (chicken, goat, cow, horse).  I’m not picky.  I’ll take any manure I can get.  Thank you.

I pulled out all the weeds, rocks and sticks that emerged in the bed over the winter.

lettuce 2

After weeding, I used my old, metal-rake handle to make a straight divot.  I also use this handle to poke holes in the ground to put onion sets in.

lettuce 1

I made all my rows using the rake handle.

lettuce 5

Then I sprinkled the seeds in the row.

I planted a few varieties in this bed.  I put spinach seeds in the back row, 2 rows of butter crunch lettuce seeds in the center, and radish seeds in the front row.

lettuce 6

Last, I used the back of the metal rake and covered all the seeds.  Ta Daa!

When I lived in a neighborhood I used to garden in shorts and a tank top.  Not anymore.  Now I live in the middle of nowhere with poison ivy, poison oak, chiggers, man-eating mosquitoes, horseflies, deer flies, ticks and other HUGE flying things I can’t identify.

So I wear this get-up.

Better safe than sorry.

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XO,

Candi

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