Planting Space: 6 to 18 inches apart, depending on lettuce type.
Matures: 21 days for leaves, 55 for head
Soil requirements: Lettuce needs moist but well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. Amend soil with compost, blood meal or other organic matter prior to planting. Fertile soil helps fuel fast, tender leaf development. Soil pH should be 6 to 7.
Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist throughout the growing season — that is the key to tender leaves. Mulch soil to reduce water evaporation and keep lettuce clean from splashing soil.
Frost-fighting plan: Lettuce thrives in cold weather—established plants tolerate light frost (28 to 33ºF), and some types even withstand lower temperatures. Frost sweetens leaf flavor. It’s a good idea to protect newly planted seedlings from late spring or early fall frosts by covering plants with a frost blanket.
Harvesting: Harvest leaves as soon as they’re large enough to eat. Pick baby leaves for salads, or wait for maturity. To extend the harvest, pick outer leaves first and allow center leaves to enlarge. For leaf lettuces, consider using a cut-and-come-again method. Cut the entire plant at the base, leaving a short stub to resprout. If harvesting frosted or frozen lettuce, allow leaves to thaw out before picking.