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[scientific name]

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Quick Reference

Optimum Soil Temperature
Days to Germination
Days to Harvest
Direct Sow or Transplant
Distance Apart
Soil pH
Annual/Biennial /Perennial 



Lactuca sativa

From the daisy family.  Started life as a bitter sow thistle.  Best grown in spring and autumn.  Hot weather may cause bolting.  Lack of water will cause bitterness

Deep cold will stop growth

Excessive rain or overhead watering will cause the lettuces to go slimy

Hearting lettuce – iceberg etc

Loose leaf

In between the the two is butterheads ie Buttercrunch

Cos and loosleaf are cut and run – take a few leaves from each plant so as not to stress the plant.  Grows easily from seed.  Germinates from relatively low soil temperatures of 5 degrees up to 21 degrees

Cover with a little soil as they require light for germination.

Seedlings are easily transplanted.  Space at 35cm

When transplanting cut back leaves to about a third to minimise shock.

Keep moist as they establish

Watch for slugs and snails


Storing harvested [name]:Seed Saving:



Fun Facts


Aphids – plant wilts, leaves puckered and distorted. Insects under leaves or on new growth. Water regularly in dry weather.
Leaf Spot – brown spots on leaves. COmmon after cold wet weather in badly drained soils. Crop rotation
Botrytis/grey mould – soft rot of leaves with grey mould. Common in humid weather. Improve drainage. Keep weeds down.
Sclerotinia – stunting, rotting at ground level. Brown slime in hearts. Bitter. Remove affected plants. Weed. ensure good air flow.
Bolting/running to seed prematurely – delayed transplanting, overcrowding, dry, hot weather. Choos right variety for the time of yeat. water regularly
Bitterness – slow growth or overmaturity. Pick when young. Like warm soila dn mositure
Poor seed germination – Lack of moisture. Heat. 20C optimum. Over 25 C too hot. use fresh seed
Slugs and snails – young seedlings eaten
No hearts – not enough light, overcrowding, drought, shortage of organic amatter
Tipburn – edges turn brown. Sudden water loss. Ensuer watering in warm conditions.


Companion Planting

Beans, Broad Beans, Climbing Beans, Beets, Cabbages, Carrots, Cherry, Chervil, Cucumber, Marigold, Marjoram, Onions, Parsnip, Radish, Strawberries

NEVER Parsley