A Surefire Way to Start Lettuce

A Karen’s Corner Blogette

by Karen Dunn

It’s never too late to start some lettuce.  As long as you have a shady spot in your garden or a sheltered container to plant it in, you can keep reseeding it all summer long.  Or wait until the end of summer and plant some for cooler days.  To save on germination time and get it going right away, here is a Quadra’s “Queen of Starts” tip on how to get lettuce off to a great “start.”

Karen’s surefire method for germinating lettuce.

  1. Plant seeds in little containers…about 20 per pot.  More if it is old seed.  I use a good seed start mix…#4 with extra perlite.  Press seed firmly into ground.  No need to cover with extra soil…lettuce likes light to germinate.
  2. Water well with gentle spray of water.
  3. Cover tightly with Saran Wrap.
  4. Pop into fridge 12-24 hrs.
  5. Then place in a cool bright spot.  Keep a close eye out for germination …usually just a few days.  If you see the little seeds standing on end this means they germinated and a little root is growing into the ground.  I use a magnifying glass.
  6. Remove plastic immediately as the sprouts mould quickly if left under plastic too long.
  7. Let them grow a few days.  When they have their second set of leaves it’s time to prick them out and plant into their own little pots.  The pots don’t have to be very big as they won’t be there very long.
  8. When lettuce plants are on their 3rd or 4th leaves they can be transplanted outside.

Sounds like a lot of work  but in the long run it really isn’t.  I find I plant  way more than I need when direct seeding into ground. And usually they get eaten or don’t germinate at all if the weather gets too hot.  For me this is a more sure method.

What do you think? Please leave us a comment or suggestion.