PHOTO: Liz West/Flickr
Heidi Strawn
February 4, 2011

Size: 8 to 10 inches

Sunlight requirements: Full sun (will tolerate partial shade in summer)

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Water requirements: About 1 inch per week (Overwatering may result in disease and slug issues.)

Soil requirements: Well-drained soil, high in organic matter. Excessive nitrogen encourages overly-tender growth and potential aphid issues.

When to plant: Seed indoors 4 weeks before transplanting, or direct-seed in early spring when soil temperatures are at least 40 degrees F. Lettuce is a cool-season crop, so early planting is key. Sow more seeds every two or three weeks throughout spring for longer harvests.

Where to plant: Garden; containers

When to harvest: When leaves are 1 to 2 inches in length (baby romaine); 50 to 65 days after seeding (full-sized heads)

Produce storage: Ready-to-harvest lettuce can remain in the garden for several weeks during cooler weather. Once picked, store unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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