Tips on Growing Lettuce in Summer
It's the middle of summer, but it's not too late to sow new seeds. Why not try lettuce? It grows quickly and you can start harvesting it already in a few weeks. Here are my best tips on growing lettuce in summer!
In this post, I want to encourage everyone to sow lettuce in the middle of summer too. I think it would be a fun little challenge to do together with all of you! Here are some of my favorite tips on growing lettuce in summer.
Growing lettuce is easy!
In my opinion, lettuce is the perfect vegetable if you want something easy to grow at home. You don't need to bend over backwards to succeed with lettuce. It's surprisingly low-maintenance and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. I also want to recommend sowing lettuce in summer too. Sow it now and harvest your fresh homegrown lettuce in September and October!
This is actually true for most locations. You can sow lettuce in summer even if you live further north than I do (zone 3) too.
If you don't have seeds at home, you can just get them in your local garden center or buy them online.
This is one of my favorite lettuce varieties this year, called Frillice. I grow it in a pot right next to the house. The leaves are amazingly tasty, crispy and beautiful. Frillice is a cross between iceberg lettuce and leaf lettuce. It doesn't produce a regular head though and you can harvest it leaf by leaf. Very convenient!
Growing lettuce - Tips
- the seeds might not germinate in very hot soil
- instead, sow the seeds in a trough in a shaded spot or even the refrigerator.
- plant the lettuce outside when the plants grow slightly larger.
- lettuce thrives in nutrient-rich soil
- remember to water your plants properly, since this improves the flavor
- slugs don't enjoy the red lettuce varieties as much as the green ones
- grow the lettuce in your beds outside, in pots, raised beds and window boxes
Don't forget that lettuce is a fun vegetable for kids to grow too! Why not give them a seed packet? They can just scatter the seeds on their own little spot and go from there. Of course, they don't exactly need to sow the seeds in rows or anything like that. Lettuce germinates after a few days and even the youngest children can harvest their own leaves. Fun!
Alternatives to lettuce
If you for some reason don't want to grow lettuce, then there are plenty of other leafy greens you can sow in summer. Here are a few of my favorites:
- lamb's lettuce
- beet leaves (use regular beet seeds)
- kale (harvest the leaves small)
- New Zealand spinach
Do I need a greenhouse?
You actually don't need a greenhouse to succeed with a sowing of leafy greens in summer. It's so warm outside now that the leaves grow very fast, as long as you remember to water them of course. Many leafy green varieties actually thrive when the days get shorter. These are often cold-hardy too, and you can leave them in the garden even at freezing temperatures. It's so convenient!
Lettuce seeds are very small and light, and they blow away easily if you don't keep your seed packet or hand closed when you go out to plant them. I'm just so fascinated by the fact that these tiny little seeds grow to become such large and luscious plants. I usually think that one single seed gives us enough lettuce for an entire meal. This still means that I need to grow a lot throughout the year though, since lettuce is one of our favorite vegetables here at home.
I hope my tips on growing lettuce in summer gave you an idea of how to get started! Good luck!