Planting lettuce in the garden and on the balcony: What you definitely need to know

Lettuce is a very undesirable vegetable when it comes to cultivation. Some tips can already help for a lush harvest.

Dortmund – Picking fresh lettuce leaves from the garden or from the balcony is easier than you think. Because lettuce has relatively few requirements when it comes to cultivation and for this reason it is also something for garden beginners. To be able to harvest healthy and large lettuce heads, some planting, care and location tips must be followed.

vegetable salad
plant genus lettuce
Advice including planting, care and location

Lettuce planting: from planting to harvesting – direct planting outdoors or growing indoors?

Lettuce is easy to grow in pots or boxes in the garden or on the balcony. Direct sowing allows it to be planted on site or inside pots with seeds. When planted directly outside, lettuce plants can develop a deep root system and are less prone to premature flowering. The roots can better reach the water reserves in the soil and less watering is required.

Lettuce can also be planted indoors in the spring in sheltered conditions. Then the seedlings have a harvest advantage of about four weeks when planted later. For this, the seeds can be placed in pots four to five inches wide or in seed trays. If you want to harvest the salad well by the fall, you can sow new seeds every two weeks. To avoid mistakes, some tips should be followed during growth.

Lettuce Planting: Lettuce Growing Tips – Germination Temperature, Location, Time, Soil

Since lettuce germinates in the light, it should ideally be lightly covered only with sand. Lettuce germination temperature varies depending on the variety. However, a temperature above 20 degrees often leads to inhibition of seed germination. Therefore, the months of March and April are suitable for lettuce without planting in most regions. A lower temperature may delay germination, but it can still succeed.

Vegetables and berries can be planted in your garden. However, typical mistakes should be avoided when pulling. (icon photo)

© skabarcat / imago

Lettuce plants do not make any special demands on the soil. A loose soil, rich in nutrients and low in nitrogen is suitable for fast and lush growth. Acidic or muddy soils often lead to poor yields. Mixing sand in humus-rich soil results in a loose soil. The location should be sunny for a spring crop and at least partially shady and cooler in summer.

Lettuce Planting: Tips for Caring for Lettuce Plants – This Leads to a Good Harvest

The usual garden lettuce should be planted in the same area every four years. Therefore, crop rotation should be observed in the best case with lettuce. A recommended preculture includes leeks, spinach or onions. Previous green manure can also be beneficial for growth. In addition, during planting, a sufficient distance should be maintained between the plants so that large heads can develop (more on gardening at RUHR24).

Regular watering prevents lettuce leaves from becoming strong and the plant from developing flowers. Once the lettuce heads are closed, you should water less and only at the soil surface. If the soil is suitable, fertilization is not necessary. Applying mulch can also retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds. Salads are very susceptible to pests, for example, because of the so-called slug collar or slug pellets can be useful.

Almost anyone can grow lettuce.

© Shotshop / Imago

Planting lettuce on the balcony: This should be considered when growing in pots or window boxes

You do not need your garden to harvest your lettuce. Unsolicited vegetables can be easily grown even on the balcony. Planters should be filled with nutrient-poor soil and some sand. A separate plant soil from a specialty store can also be used. Lollo Rosso and Lollo Bionda lettuce varieties are especially suitable for growing in pots. In addition to lettuce, cucumbers can also be planted on the balcony.

If you want to save yourself the planting work, you can also get ready-made new lettuce plants from the garden center or the hardware store nearby. It should only be noted that lettuce plants are not planted too deep. The roots should still be slightly above ground. With purchased plants, soil pressure pots can come out even a few inches from the ground.

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