When sowing seeds directly into the soil, you should plant approximately 10 seeds per foot. Consider alternating rows of green and red lettuce for a whimsical touch. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. The report painted a depressing picture of an America going to seed, its bridges and roads falling apart, its national parks neglected. If lettuce seedlings are exposed to 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for several days in a row, they will start forming flower buds, although the flower stalk won't shoot up until the weather warms. Among the older seed varieties, crisphead lettuces in the romaine or cos group tend to be the slowest to bolt, while looseleaf lettuce tends to be the quickest. Lettuce is ideally suited to indoor gardening as it prefers mild temperature ranges and grows quickly. The name "iceberg lettuce" dates back to early 20th century California—refrigerators were not available so to prevent spoilage in transit, farmers would cover the lettuce in crushed ice. By this stage the plants are good for nothing but the compost heap. Observe your lettuces, taking special note of when the seed stalks appear. As long as it has moist soil and cool weather, it's going to throw out some leaves. Plant ‘slow bolting’ seed, or choose the right variety for your climate zone. Some cultivars are quicker to bolt than others. The lettuce seed, which is carried by the wind, is soft and fluffy. And it's sneaky too, seemingly running to seed within a matter of days; how many times have you gone away for the weekend only to return to drawn out plants teetering like the salad equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? ... Lettuce is turning a … How to start romaine lettuce from seed: You can either plant your romaine lettuce seeds directly in the soil or start them indoors about 4 weeks before the last frost of the season. Plant more seeds every two weeks between May and September for a continuous crop. While lettuces do self-pollinate, they will also cross-pollinate if different varieties are grown too close together. Read our, 14 Best Vegetables to Grow in a Fall Garden, Butterhead (Buttercrunch) Lettuce Plant Profile, How to Save Lettuce Seeds From Your Garden, How to Have a Long Producing Vegetable Garden, 6 Best Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring. Barbara Gillette is a Master Gardener, Herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist with decades of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Step 4: Sow two to five seeds per cube for leaf lettuce (two to three for summer plantings) or one seed per cube for head lettuce. Cut off the flowers stems and let them fall in to the bag. Allow the seed stalks to dry and shrivel completely before removing the paper bags. Either spread the seed very thinly along a row and cover lightly with soil, or sprinkle it over a bed and rake it in. In cooler climates, the lettuce growing season can also be extended year-round using an indoor hydroponic system. Once lettuce goes into seed producing mode it shoots up a strong leader from the centre of the plant and puts all it's energy into producing the flowers and seed pods. For instance, plant lettuce next to taller plants to provide shade and cooler soil conditions. Crisphead types produce large hearts of curled and crisp leaves and are more resistant to bolting (going to seed prematurely); this group includes iceberg lettuces. After you have planted the lettuce seeds, you’ll need to … If you keep cutting off growth from plants like lettuce, spinach and broccoli, it stimulates the plant to replace it. Answered. Lettuce. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of Illinois Extension: Lettuce, Seed Save: Seed Saving Instructions for Beginners. In hot weather lettuce goes to seed rapidly, so have new plantings ready to go. This means adding manure to the soil before planting, and keeping the water up to them as they grow. Be aware that this only lessens the possibility of cross-pollination, and does not eliminate it entirely. It’s EASY and FREE. Seeds are major vehicles of propagation and dispersal in plants. All five varieties of lettuce (stem, loose-leaf, butterhead, crisphead and romaine) produce seeds in a similar manner: by sending up a seed stalk in the center of the plant. Lettuce seed is very fine and not easy to spread evenly, therefore both methods will … While it can germinate at 35 degrees, the best temperature to germinate is between 70 to 75 degrees. Hi my lettuce has been growing well for the season but now it is not producing any more lettuce and I have been told that it is doing something called going to seed but I really don't know. Here, we identified a lettuce AP2 ( LsAP2 ) gene that was … Another option is getting things like lettuce, spinach, and peas planted in the late fall. For maximum lettuce production, it's wise to select a site where the soil drains well, yet retains some moisture.The soil should also be rich in nitrogen and potassium. My lettuce plants that I purchased from a greenhouse and planted in a container about a month ago have started to sprout seeds at the top of the plant. Hot summer temps will make lettuce go to seed and get bitter–so if you have any shady places for a bed, plan on one for midsummer to keep your lettuces cooler. Seed packets start at $1-$2 for lettuce seeds. And don’t be overly concerned about changing up your care regimen with a new, unfamiliar variety. A Plant’s Prime Objective; Be Fruitful and Multiply Iceberg (crisphead) varieties take longer and should be harvested as soon as a head develops but before outer leaves turn brown. Since lettuces are light feeders, I’ll allow them to re-seed in the same spot once. SOPHIE: As lettuce produce flowers and seed, the leaves are often too bitter to eat. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. This is my first time growing lettuce (butterhead) and where they had been producing tender leaves, they have just started to shoot up stalks with flowers on them and the leaves have turned a little bitter. Romaine and Butterhead lettuce can be harvested in about 60 to 70 days from planting. 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