Over the last few weeks I’ve been growing Lettuce Tom Thumb, and now they’ve reached the stage where they’re big enough to be planted out. They’re about the size of a tennis ball, which generally speaking is a good indicator of when they need to be planted out.
Lettuce is a half-hardy vegetable, which means that they can be grown in early spring, and planted outside after all the frost has passed. Lettuce is a food staple that you can grow all summer long in small quantities.
Planting out any vegetable is more or less consists of the same method, dig a pot sized hole and make sure the roots are well covered – in this particular bed, I’ve piled on a layer of sifted soil so that root stocks can be established easily improve the plants access to water.
Things to remember when planting tom thumb lettuce
- If you can, harden off plants for around a week before planting outside.
- Leaf lettuce: Plant 4 inches apart.
- Water thoroughly when you plant them into the ground.
- I’ve planted my lettuce near some chives and mint to help keep black fly and white fly at bay.
Looking at your lettuce
- Make sure soil remains moist but is well-drained.
- Add mulch from the compost bin to help retain moisture, keep weeds down, and lower soil temperatures.
- If you see your lettuce wilting, cover them with water and slow down the transpiration rate.
- When you’re weeding, be careful of the roots as they’re shallow.
Harvesting your lettuce
- Lettuce can be harvested any time, so when you see that they’re big enough for what you need, pick them from the ground.
- If you pick lettuce and it’s bitter, it means it has matured or may have gone to flower.
- As time passes, you will want to cut the whole plant from the ground.
- Pick lettuce in the morning before they get exposed to sun.
- Keep lettuce in the fridge for up to ten days in a bag to help maintain it’s quality.