After buying your pot, keep it in a bright cool place, but out of the sun. Plant as soon as possible, preferably within 3 or 4 days of purchase.
In cold weather plant out under a plastic cloche or greenhouse. If rain, frost or strong winds make it unsuitable to plant outdoors, it may be an advantage to pot them up in trays or individual pots, using a quality potting compost. Then plant outdoors when weather permits, using the instructions below.
- Start preparing the soil of your raised bed or plot by pulling up weeds and any dead old plants.
- Give it a dig over and break up any big clumps of soil and remove stones. (If your soil is heavy or sticky clay, go here)
- Mix in sheep manure or compost mix to give the soil a boost in nutrients.
Planting the Seedling
- Dig holes 25-30cm apart, giving the same space between rows.
- Remove the lid and squeeze the base of the pot to loosen the sand. Gently shuffle the plants into your hand and carefully pull apart from one another.
- Place individual plants immediately in the holes (they dry out very fast) and plant deep enough to accomodate the roots with stem and leaves above ground (See diagram). Firm the soil around the roots.
- Keep plants well watered so that soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged.
- Lettuce and salad leaves need some sunshine but will tolerate partial shade.
- For Cos lettuce varieties, just cut off the outer leaves and leave a few smaller leaves in the centre to prolong your harvest.
- For Iceberg lettuce, wait until they have matured and cut off at the stalk.