Lactuca sativa (Lettuce)

How to plant lettuce (Lactuca sativa)

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is one of the most cultivated and used vegetables in the world. Originally from the Eastern Mediterranean, it is world-wide grown for consumption in salads, with numerous varieties of leaves, colors, shapes, sizes and textures.

Common name: Lettuce
Scientific name: Lactuca sativa
Plant type:
Other characteristics:

Lactuca sativa (Lettuce) purple and green leaves varieties
Lactuca sativa (Lettuce) purple and green leaves varieties


The ideal temperature for growing lettuce is between 10 ° C and 24 ° C. However, there are varieties that tolerate higher temperatures and others that tolerate lower temperatures. High temperatures can induce an early bloom, harder leaves or even burns.


Lettuce needs good light, preferably in direct sunlight, but is tolerant to partial shade.
Thus, in warmer climates lettuce benefits if planted in a place that allows partial shade during the hottest hours of the day.


The lettuce grows in well drained soils, rich in organic matter and with good nitrogen availability.


Lettuce should be watered frequently, keeping the soil moist, but not leaving the soil soaked.

How to plant

It is important to choose varieties adapted to the temperature of the planting season. There are proper varieties for the winter, for cultivation in mild or cold temperatures, and other varieties for cultivation in higher temperatures during summer.

Lactuca sativa (Lettuce) seedlings
Lactuca sativa (Lettuce) seedlings

In mild climate, the seeds can be sown in the final location or on seed trays and then transplanted.
For warm climate regions, it is recommended to sow in a nursery where the environment is cooler, as the seeds can become dormant at higher temperatures, resulting in low germination rates.
You can also plant the seeds directly in the garden in the late afternoon, then watering, which reduces the likelihood of seed dormancy, as the temperature will tend to be milder.
Leave the seeds about 1 cm deep in the soil.
Sometimes it is important to put a net or some device that will keep the birds away from the sowing place as it is very likely that they will stir the soil.

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