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Lettuce Questions

I'm new to growing lettuces, but have some romaine and oakleaf lettuce seedlings to use as cut and come again, mostly for the guinea pigs. Two planters will be on conservatory windowsill, one outside.

At what time of year are these likely to bolt - so when should I sow more seed to replace these? And how hardy are they, do I have to wait til after the last frost to harden some of them off, or could they go out sooner (I live in York )?


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,277
    I usually sow a few lettuce seeds every 2-3 weeks from April-June.
    They will only bolt if they get stressed due to insufficient water at this time of year.
    If you sow in late summer they may also bolt as they are aware that the nights are drawing in, so they try and set seed asap
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • bookmonsterbookmonster Posts: 399
    Thanks! I should say, these are now young plants. Presumably at some point in the summer they will bolt?
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,277
    Yes they will bolt (i.e. set seed) as they reach maturity, it's in the nature of all plants.
    If you're going to keep trimming the leaves they will last a few weeks but will still become exhausted or bolt and need to be replaced.
    Lettuce doesn't like to be transplanted and sometimes even that can cause them to bolt.
    But they're generally so easy.
    Just sow a few seeds every 2-3 weeks, don't let the plants dry out and you'll have a supply until late summer.
    Excessive summer heat can also trigger bolting - a lot of mine went that way last year - not much we can do about that though. Lettuce prefer cool conditions

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,166
    If you pick off the outer leaves every few weeks they will last much longer but as said already they will run to seed eventually its just what plants want to do. 
    AB Still learning

  • bookmonsterbookmonster Posts: 399
  • SuesynSuesyn Posts: 630
    I planted cut and come again lettuce last August and we didn't get round to eating it so I thinned it out and put it in the border in the greenhouse  (unheated). We are still eating it now, about 4/5 plants left and I have more in lettuce and rocket in troughs. I don't think we have bought a lettuce for about 3 years now and we eat them every time we have a sandwich  and often have salad with dinner.
    I have also grown a variety called All Year Round  which was planted outside and did remarkably well with no protection.  
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