The Leafy Lettuce

The Leafy Lettuce

With the end of the April showers, and the hopeful anticipation of some more consistent sunshine, May is the time in the garden when things really start to take off. Nothing exemplifies this more than lettuces, which grow at such a rate it seems like they produce a whole new salad every day!

When the sun is out, and dining al fresco becomes pleasant again, it really feels like summer is just around the corner. On these days, it’s the freshly picked lettuce leaf which is the star of the show.

The leafy lettuce is our favourite May vegetable.


Enjoying a slightly cooler and shadier climate, lettuces are in their prime season through the spring. They can be grown very successfully all the way through the summer as well, but they will bolt (go to flower) quicker.

Lettuces can be sown direct into the soil, or started inside in propagator and transplanted after a few weeks. If sown close together, you’ll get a continuous crop of baby leaves to munch on.

For bigger hearts of lettuce, space each plant out by 30 cm to give them the space they need to grow!

At Sprout, many different varieties of lettuces can be grown both with our indoor and outdoor subscription – we’ll teach you everything you need to know in our Growing Guides.


Lettuce leaves grow fast, growing visibly bigger by the day! This is great news for salad lovers, as you’ll get regular fresh harvests from each plant.

For small harvests, you can cut individual leaves off the plants near the stem. Cut the biggest ones on the outside of the plant first, and work equally through your plants.

For larger harvests, you can use the ‘cut and come again’ method – cut entire plants back to 5cm

above soil level. Just make sure you leave the baby inside leaves, as these will mean the plant can grow back quickly.

Finally, if you want a whole lettuce heart, harvest out nearby lettuces to give the chosen plant space, and let it grow for a few weeks to fill out it’s heart.


In our opinion, you can’t beat a salad of freshly harvested lettuce leaves. Give them a quick rinse and spin in a salad spinner and you can combine them into all sorts of salads.

If you’re looking to impress, how about getting creative with your leaves? Our Little Gem leaves hold a natural bowl-shaped structure, perfect for filling with your tasty creations! We particularly like Thai food in our lettuce bowls.

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