growing lettuce in Georgia

garischa(7 GA)January 13, 2006

I feel ashamed to ask this question, because I have heard from many people that they have successfully grown lettuce. We have tried it three times, and either had no germination or just little bitty plants that never developed into much.

When is the ideal time to plant lettuce in the spring? Do you direct sow or start them indoors? Do you grow it in full sun? What's your secret?

Thanks so much.

Uli

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Lettuce is a cool season crop that may fail if sown or transplanted in too warm of temperatures. It should be grown in full sun unless you are summer sowing for a fall crop. Lettuce germinates quickly and can be direct sown outside. That seems to make the most sense, since most people would plant alot of it, in succession.

I would review several fact sheets about lettuce growing and then try to decide what you've been doing wrong. It is generally considered quite an easy crop to grow, and will be for you, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lettuce fact sheet

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 10:56AM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

As for appropriate types of seed, I'd check out the Southern Seed Exchange. They feature great information about types of veggies that do well in our climate.
Row covers can help extend your season, both with hold and heat. Also consider companion planting for a living "row cover" we use an A-frame trellis for cucumbers or peas over top of a bed of lettuce. This provides shade or frost protection.

http://www.southernexposure.com/index.html

GGG

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Ron_and_Patty(z7 GA)

Uli,

We have had success with most of our lettuce by starting them indoors and then setting out in 4 weeks. Last year, we started our first batch of lettuce mid Feb, transplanted it the 3rd week of March, and it grew like crazy. Then we started more 4 weeks later, and had a nice supply of lettuce through June. But every year is different!

I set the flats on the garage floor to keep the soil cool if it is unseasonably warm. We water regularly, and try to keep it growing at a steady pace...if the soil dries out and the lettuce doesn't grow continuously, it seems to take on a bitter flavor. The only time we have had trouble with lettuce germinating is with older seed or seed that hasn't been properly stored. Lettuce likes it cool, so it can definitely take some shade. We grew quite a bit on the north side of the house.

Have you tried a variety called Red Sails? We actually have some of that growing (slowly) outdoors right now. It is the easiest lettuce we have ever grown. Oh yeah, and just barely cover the seed...just enough that some soil is touching the seeds.

Wishing you bowls of salad!
Patty

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 11:13AM
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