How To Grow Leaf Lettuce


SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lactuca sativa
LIGHT: Full Sun in spring/fall, partial shade in summer
SOIL TYPE: Rich, well-drained, loose loam.
pH RANGE: 6.2 – 6.8
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep moist, not waterlogged, frequent short watering is best
KNOWN PESTS: slugs, aphids, plant bugs and leaf hoppers



Leaf and Romaine Lettuce grows best in a well-worked soil that is not to wet. This can sometimes be difficult to achieve when the ground is very moist in the early part of the season. Lettuce seed won’t germinate when soil and air are hot, so a good way to start would be starting lettuce in hot beds and then transplanted outside.

Use these lettuce thinnings in the first spring salad. Successive plantings will ensure lettuce through the entire season. Be sure to keep lettuce bed evenly moist and harvest regularly to keep lettuce plants from bolting and becoming bitter.


Direct seed head lettuce in early spring, as seed will germinate between 40-80°F. Sowing thinly ¼” and 1” apart.


Leaf lettuce types – 6” apart with 12” rows; Iceberg lettuce – 12” apart with 18” row spacing; Romaine lettuce – 8-10” apart with 12-16” rows Butterhead/Batavia lettuce – 10-12” apart with 12” row spacing. Start lettuce transplants indoors 4-6 weeks before last frost date for transplants. Make succession plantings every 1-2 weeks to ensure a constant harvest.


Head Lettuce does well with most vegetables, carrot, garlic, onion and radish make the best companions.


Choose an area with full sun to partial shade and a soil pH of 6.2-6.8. Lettuce is a heavy feeder and prefers a rich, well cultivated soil with good drainage. Some success can be expected even in poor soils using the loose-leaf lettuce types. Add plenty of compost or well rotted manure prior to planting lettuce. lettuce benefits from regular feedings with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Mulching is useful to keep soil cool and reduce weeds.


Harvest lettuce early in the morning after dew is evaporated. Looseleaf types can be picked as soon as leaves are large enough to eat.



Simpson Elite Lettuce

One of the best and most common leaf lettuce on the market. Delicate flavour with almost no bitterness even near the end of the season. Simpson Elite grows quickly, has crisp texture and medium-light green curly leaves. Highly resistant to bolting. Maturity 50 days.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

A very early heirloom leaf lettuce. Light green crinkly leaves retain their crisp, tender qualities longer than other leaf lettuce varieties. Early maturity – approximately 45 days.

Tango Lettuce

Tango lettuce is a curly leaf lettuce with a crisp texture. This very popular lettuce is an excellent choice for the home gardener as well as commercial growers. Maturity – 53 days from seed.

Red Salad bowl Lettuce

Red Salad bowl Lettuce is a slow bolting red oakleaf. Deep-red fine divided leaves. Sweet flavor and tender. Maturity 50 days.

Brunia Lettuce

Brunia Lettuce is a true oakleaf type lettuce having tinged red leaf edges. It is tolerant to bolting. Brunia has strong growth and excellent yields over a long period of time. Maturity 50 days.

Sentry Lettuce

Deep, beautiful colour and shape make this dark red lettuce a great addition to any salad. The frilled leaves, add texture and volume to salads. Very consistent grower. Maturity 55 days.

Nevada Lettuce

Nevada forms large leafy heads with glossy, thick leaves. Strong tolerance to tipburn, bolting, and hot weather. Maturity 60 days.

Sierra Lettuce

This red Batavia offers great heat tolerance, Sierra lettuce develops shiny, heavy green leaves with a purple-brown tinge at the leaf tips. A delicious crunchy, nutty flavor. Very tolerant to disease. Maturity 48-50 days.

Romaine Varieties

Parris Island Cos Lettuce

One of the most well known romaine lettuce. known for its crisp leaves and sweet flavour. Uniform heads are large, with an average height of 10 inches, with deep green outer leaves protecting the white heart. Maturity 70 – 75 days.

Freckles Lettuce

This is a very unique romaine! Early, open pollinated lettuce with green glossy leaves with maroon splaches. Mature heads stand up well in the garden. Maturity 68 days.

Green Forest Lettuce

Excellent yield and growth. Deep green heads can grow to 12 inches tall. Partial savoy leaves are tender and mild. Green Forest is well suited and tolerant of many growing conditions with high tolerance to tipburn and bolting. Maturity 70 days.

Remington Lettuce

Remington lettuce will grow in a variety of growing conditions and is well suited to all season harvesting. Medium green plants have a slightly blistered leaf and a crisp and strong mid rib. Good steady plant growth, with an average head size of about 13 inches. Strong tolerance to tipburn. Maturity 70 days from seed.

Annapolis Lettuce

Extremely deep red leaves. One of the darkest red romaine lettuce available. Vertical leaves develop into a loose head. Annapolis lettuce does not get bitter like some other red lettuce varieties. Maturity 65-70 days.

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