History & Origin

Lettuce is one of our very oldest vegetables. It is native to the Mediterranean and Near East. It was grown in China in the fifth century. Lettuce was grown in royal gardens of Persian Kings (Iran) over 2000 years ago. Columbus brought lettuce to the Bahamas in 1494. Colonist John Winthrop, Jr. brought lettuce seeds to America in the 1600s.

When to Plant

Leaf lettuce can be planted in the spring when the soil is dry enough to be worked. They can be planted two or more times every 10-14 days. Lettuce is a cool season vegetable. It cannot stand warm temperatures. Do your last planting of lettuce about 30 days before the hot days of early summer.

Spacing and Depth

Sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Sow about 10 seeds per foot of row. If your lettuce row is 3 feet long, how many seeds would you need? Thin lettuce seedlings to about 4 inches apart.

Special Care

Lettuce has shallow roots, so be careful when weeding. Do not overwater.


Cut the lettuce when it's large enough to use. Lettuce will reach its largest size about 50-60 days after seeding.

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