Knowing when to plant lettuce in the UK is extremely important if you want to achieve and harvest healthy lettuce. Wherever you are in the southeast of Britain, you can easily plant lettuce either in your UK garden or the greenhouse. Growing one is relatively easy as long as it buried in an environment where it’s cool enough.
Gardeners in the United Kingdom consider themselves blessed because they can plant their lettuce in two seasons: spring and autumn. However, each season requires you to give special care to it to achieve the best results. But if you want to grow it all year long, you can always use a polytunnel and cultivate it there.
There are a lot of varieties of lettuce you can plant in the UK. Whether you’re planning on producing red, green, or big round lettuce leaves or small and frilly ones, the only way to achieve the best results is to grow them in the right environment.
Best Seasons to Plant Lettuce
Lettuce is a type of cold-season crop best planted in early spring and autumn between the temperatures 60°F to 65°F. The best temperature for the germination of lettuce seeds is 75°F. It’s essential to ensure that the lettuces are planted in the proper soil temperatures to ensure that you get to enjoy a healthy harvest.
Planting Lettuce in the Autumn
Although lettuce is a cold-season plant, most types do not survive extreme cold. So, it’s better to start planting your lettuces in late August or early September so you can harvest them sometime in October. Autumn in the UK has a temperature of 60°F to 70°F during the day and 45°F and 55°F in during night time which are the ideal temperatures for germinating and growing lettuces.
Aside from that, be sure to know your UK area’s hardiness zone. Knowing the hardiness zone will help you predict when the frosting will start in your area and estimate when you should start planting your lettuces. Too much cold could cause the lettuces to rot, especially if the variant you grew isn’t cold-resistant, so be sure to harvest them before the winter season officially starts.
There are also variants of lettuce that can survive the winter in the United Kingdom. With the proper care and protection, British gardeners can successfully plant lettuces in their gardens. If they have a greenhouse, they can also grow their lettuce inside to have complete control of the environment’s temperature to produce healthy lettuce.
If you’re planting lettuce in the winter, you also have to make sure to give extra care to it. Plucking out weeds around the plant should be the topmost priority as it can compete with the nutrients that the lettuce badly needs. Moreover, as the night approaches during the winter, it also helps cover the lettuces with horticultural fleece to keep the plants warmer.
Planting lettuces in the early spring is also ideal in the UK. The perfect time is because the summer heat could start as early as February, and as the heat becomes more robust, it could damage the entirety of the crop. With that, you have to make sure to plant your lettuce as early as possible in spring to enjoy a good harvest by the time the summer heat starts to creep in.
The temperature in the UK during spring ranges between 68°F and 80°F during the day and between 40°F to 50°F when it’s nighttime. The range of temperatures could still be a suitable temperature for lettuce to grow as long as they given extra care. Moreover, once the summer heat starts, it’s essential to ensure that the lettuces watered regularly to avoid drying and steady growth.
Extra Care Tips for Growing Lettuces
If you want to enjoy maximum yield and high-quality lettuce, there are some tips that you can follow. Here are some of them:
Tip #1: Place them in a shaded area
When temperatures exceed 65°F, you can place a shade over your lettuces, or if they’re in a container, you can transfer them to an area where there is a shade to avoid exposing them to extreme heat.
Tip #2: Make sure that the soil is kept moist
If you’re planting a seedling or transplanting grown lettuce, it’s essential to keep the soil moist. Water the ground you’re going to use for planting or transplanting at least 24 hours before. Keep the soil evenly moist to avoid drying, which can damage or kill the lettuce.
Tip #3: Harvest in the morning
When it’s time to harvest your lettuce, do it early in the day. Studies show that lettuce leaves contain twice as many nutrients in the morning than late in the afternoon.
Tip #4: Grow different types of lettuce
Plant different varieties of lettuce. Some can survive extreme heat or cold. By having different types, you’ll be sure to enjoy lettuce all year long.
Why Use a polytunnel for Growing Lettuce and Other Vegetables?
Greenhouses are also known as polytunnels, are designed to house almost any type of plant. With one, you can control the environment inside, thus, making sure that your plants will have the ideal temperature and produce high-quality crops. Yes, including lettuces.
Lettuces are very specific when it comes to temperatures. A polytunnel lets you tailor an environment that’s ideal to the type of lettuce you’re planning to cultivate. With one, you’ll get to control factors like sunlight, ventilation, humidity, heat, and temperature, so you won’t have to worry about whether or not it’s the right season to plant your lettuce.
Learn When to Plant Lettuce in the UK to Enjoy High-Quality Crops!
Now that you know when to plant lettuce in the UK, you might be eager to start working on your UK garden. But before you start, keep in mind that you have to make sure that the temperature outside is ideal for the growth of these plants. If you have a greenhouse, start setting it up to create a climate that will foster these plants’ development.