- Type Leafy vegetable
- Life Span Annual
- USDA Zones All
- Light Sun or some shade
- Water Moist soil
- When to Plant Spring, late summer
- Design Tip Ruffled backdrop
- Companions Chives, garlic, mint
- Days to Mature 45-55
Lettuce: A Field Guide
One of our oldest cultivated foods, lettuce (Lactuca sativa) dresses up a garden with its ruffly leaves.
Most varieties of lettuce belong to one of three types: leaf, head, or romaine. Plant lettuces in early spring, and keep planting in small amounts every seven to 10 days until midsummer for a steady harvest. Lettuce seeds don’t germinate well after the temperature reaches 80 degrees, but you can sow again at the end of summer for an autumn crop. Some of our favorites for a late-season harvest: Spotted Trout Lettuce and Oak Leaf Lettuce.