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A bunch of lettuce in a planter

Leaf lettuce


General information

  • Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Cool season
  • Planting Window:
    • Spring: mid-March to late April
  • Fall: early August to mid-September
  • pH = 6.0-7.0
  • Planting Depth: 1/8-1/4 inch, direct sow in soil
  • MPD: 5 inches (in both directions)
  • Easy to grow from seed!

Pests and diseases

  • Slugs (beer saloon, diatomaceaous earth)
  • Rabbits - removable rabbit wire cages
  • Cutworms - toothpicks around trunk


Successful cultivars

  • Cultivars:
    • Black Seeded Simpson (45 days)
    • Red Salad Bowl (50 days)
    • Buttercrunch (65 days)
    • Little Gem (45 days) - compact Romaine type
    • Parris Island Romaine (55 days)
    • Giant Caesar Romaine (70 days)
  • Harvest any time up to maturity (mature at 8-12 in.)
    • Cut two inches above soil, recut repeatedly
    • You can eat the thinnings!

This publication was created by Master Gardener Rick Judd and designed by Extension Scholar Taylor Trent. Photos courtesy of Rick Judd.

UD Cooperative Extension

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In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, Cooperative Extension is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.