schedule for planting lettuce

wjy520(z5 PA)September 6, 2004

Growing for Market had a schedule for planting lettuce a few years ago. It is now out of print. I would like to have some type of schedule so I could have lettuce at our farmers market from the first of May to the last of October. If anyone has that schedule or one of there own for zone 5, please let me know.

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Bob_Piper(NE Oklahoma)

Why don't you go to and ask Lynn. She might remember or have the info close at hand. Can't hurt to inquire. Or call Johnny's Select Seeds at 800-854-2580, ask them what lettuces they suggest for your area at that time of year and see what scheduling they suggest. If you don't have a Johnny's commercial catalog, request one.


    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 10:00AM
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Zone refers to the average yearly minimum temperature. It doesn't reflect average first and last frost dates, when your soil is ready to work or how soon it's going to get warm in your area. My daughter and I live 1500 miles apart, in the same zone, but her growing season is 20-25 days longer than mine. Hope that helps explain what zones are used for.

You want to know how to use season extenders in order to get a head start on your growing season. I use cold frames and slotted row cover. You also want to know your average last frost date so that you can get a good idea of when to uncover the lettuce. Lettuce doesn't like to be hot so the sooner you can uncover it permanently the better.

Check the days to maturity on the varities you're going to grow. I start with the shortest days to maturity under slotted row cover to get my earliest harvest. Lettuce germinates best in cool soil of 40° to 60° so it can be one of the first things you plant. It appreciates quick growth in good soil before the weather gets hots.

If you can start the seeds early and transplant out you can have a good head start. I set it out into the garden when it has four true leaves. True leaves don't count the first two leaves, called cotyledons.

I agree with Bob - call Lynne. She's very nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 9:01PM
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I was planting lettuce this year about every 7-10 days, but that's unnecessarily often. Because I find the lettuces in any given batch mature at slightly different rates (even when all the same variety) a single batch will be harvestable for 2-3 weeks, so you just need to plant bigger batches less often.

The difficult part is spreading out the days to maturity by the right amount at the start and end of the season, so you don't have gaps.

I have a gap right now because I was away for 2 weeks in July when I should have been sowing seeds :-). I will have another gap soon bcause an entire batch of 48 lettuces is now down to one, due to wireworms in that particular bed. The next bed over is much less infested.


    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 11:20PM
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Look at Elliot Colemans books for ideas on extending your lettuce (particularlly) production. (Four Season Harvest)

    Bookmark   September 13, 2004 at 10:35PM
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rasfarmer(C.Gorge OR)

Hey Kevin.. I was wondering about that 'wire worm' damage you mentioned. I've heard of them on potatoes, but not on lettuces. And I've got an unknown pest that ravages my baby greens, leaving black (caviar-like) eggs or dung (?) in the center of each cluster. I was wondering if that might be the cause.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2004 at 8:07PM
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