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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to let you all know that I ordered one packet of free seeds from Earthbound Farms. They send you what they want to send, so I got organic lettuce (heritage, mix).

I'd like some advice on how to grow lettuce, from first sowing (how many, how far spaced apart, ect) to managing and cutting the leaves to eat, and preventing insect damage.

Thanks!
 

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Lettuce is very easy to grow. It likes cooler weather so spring or fall rather than mid summer. You can sow seeds directly into the ground as soon as the soil can be worked. That means after the snow is gone and the soil has dried out enough so it's still damp but not muddy. You should be able to form the soil into a ball that holds together but is easy to crumble.

I usually plant my lettuce seeds about 4" apart. Some people sow the closer and then thin them when they've started to grow. Some people space them wider apart.

A good rule of thumb for seed depth is to plant it as deep as the seed is wide. So lettuce will just have a thin layer of soil on top of it.

Once the plant is well established and has 4 or 5 sets of leaves you should be able to take a leaf or two off of each plant every day or so through the whole season. This will last until it warms up and the lettuce "bolts" or starts to flower. When this happens the lettuce gets tough and bitter. You can pull the finished plants out and compost them. If you want you can leave a few to set seed to collect for next year.

Slugs are the biggest problem for lettuce in my garden. Crushed egg shells and coffee grounds scattered around the plants help deter slugs. Another big problem can be bunnies or deer. A good fence is your best bet there but netting can also help. There are also sprays that are non toxic but leave a smell that they don't like that can help sometimes.
 

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Really cool! Thank you for the post! I will be looking into getting some for myself.
I have had a lot of luck with lettuce. But, I usually plant them very close. They seem to shade each other a bit which slows their tendency to bolt (go to seed). I would only give them 2" in between seeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Apparently the 25 yr anniversary program is over. Sorry!

Thanks for the advice on growing, spacing and harvesting the lettuce. I look forward to getting it started. There are some cool examples of planting a lettuce garden in "clamshell containers", basic plastic containers with lids. They have a serious of videos, and at this point the lettuce is just about ready to start harvesting. Looks like anyone can grow lettuce if you have a sunny window, and a few sun shiny days.

Check out ebfarm.com
 
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