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Sowing Lettuce seeds

ShepsSheps Posts: 2,221
Morning all...I've just sowed some lettuce seed in a unheated propagator and was wondering if the unheated greenhouse would be a better place to germinate than a south facing windowsill?

Also, do you think I will have to water between now and germination?




  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 434
    In my experience lettuce germinates better in cool conditions. I've just sown mine in module trays in an unheated greenhouse . Later sowings are sown direct.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 3,458
    edited March 2023
    I sowed some on Thursday in an unheated propagator, kept on a windowsill in a utility room which has a radiator set on low.  I watered the compost lightly after sowing, they've germinated today!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,221
    Thanks @scroggin and @Plantminded I was worried both positions might get too hot?

    It's about 25⁰c in the greenhouse and the thermometer on the windowsill says 35⁰c is this too warm?
  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 434
    @Sheps, I would go for the greenhouse if it was me. One thing to mention is the seed doesn't keep once the packet is opened, use it all in the same season.
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,221
    Thanks @scroggin will do and see how they go, I can always sow some more if they don't germinate.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,789
    That's incredibly hot! Lettuce doesn't need anything like those temps to germinate and grow. Even in your greenhouse that's hot. Don't cover them with anything if you're putting them out there - just sow in trays or pots.
    They'll just get very leggy if they're too hot. It might be ok for a while if you're doing them as cut and come again, which is what I mostly do with the early sowings. 
    I'm about to sow some this week which will just be in pots in the kitchen. The highest temp my south east facing sills get to is around 19 when there's sun. The rest of the time it varies from around 11 or 12 to about 15 or 16. That's plenty warm enough for them to germinate and grow inside.
    Later sowings will either be done outdoors or the growhouse, depending on when I do them.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,221
    Thanks @Fairygirl greenhouse is now saying 20⁰c so coming down nicely.

    I will remove the propagator lid and see how they go.

    First time sowing seeds of any variety, so a bit of a learning curve.
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,789
    Lettuce does better with cooler conditions @Sheps, as @scroggin says.
    It's inclined to bolt if it's too hot, so when you have them outdoors, pick a spot that gets a bit of relief from mid day sun.  :)
    I put some in a trough or pot [slug fodder otherwise] and because my back garden is pretty sunny, I tuck them in behind my bench which just gives them a bit of shade, but is still handy for cropping if it's chucking it down!
    I saved seed from one variety two years ago, and it did very well last year, so it's worth leaving one plant for that purpose if you fancy it.
    It doesn't seem to keep very well as scroggin says. Someone mentioned that to me a few years ago, and it hadn't crossed my mind until then that it was a bit short lived. I don't use anything like the amount some people would, so I tended to keep it. I got a good few years out of a packet though   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • ShepsSheps Posts: 2,221
    Thanks @Fairygirl yes, the raised beds are at the base of a westward facing fence, so sunshine up to about midday, then shaded as the temperature starts to rise in the afternoon.
  • war  garden 572war garden 572 Posts: 662
    edited March 2023
    the secret to summer lettuce is limiting the day length with shade during the 
    summer. even it the temperature gets over 85 F. there are also summer
    heat resistant varieties. the day length limit is 8 hours. 
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