Lettuce - Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide - University of Illinois Extension


Leaf lettuce is the easiest kind of lettuce to grow in the garden. It can be grown during most of the season and does not require exacting cultural practices, while head lettuce is very sensitive to heat and requires more care. Select varieties of lettuce that are tolerant to heat and tip burn and that do not go to seed easily.


Bibb lettuce has become popular in recent years. It can be grown successfully during the cooler parts of the growing season. Other types of lettuce that are grown in Illinois are butterhead and cos, or romaine. Head lettuce will not do well in Illinois.

Harvest leaf lettuce when the leaves are large enough to use. Sometimes only a few of the lower leaves are harvested, allowing the center leaves to continue growing for later use.

Crop Amount for 100
ft of row
Variety recommended for use in Illinois Days to harvest Resistant to
Lettuce (seed) 1 packet Green Leaf
Grand Rapids 45 Multiple resistance
Green Ice 45
Oak Leaf 50
Salad Bowl 45 Multiple resistance
Simpson 45
Bibb 70 Tip burn
Buttercrunch 70
Summer Bibb 62
Vegetable Hardiness Recommended planting period for central Illinois (b) Time to grow from seed to field (c)
For  overall
Lettuce, leaf Half-hardy March 25 - May 15
August 15-September 15
... ...
Vegetable Spacing in row
Seed to sow per foot Distance between plants when thinned or transplanted Distance between rows Planting depth
inches inches inches
Lettuce, leaf 10 2-4 12-18 ½