3 Steps to Sow Salads

3 Steps to Sow Salads

3 Steps to Sow Salads



Step 1: Get salad seeds

Step 2: Sow lettuce from February to October

Step 3: Method 1: Sow lettuce directly into the ground

Method 2: Sow lettuce for transplanting

Salads are a must in the garden and not very difficult to grow. Sowing them yourself is less expensive and allows you to choose the varieties you prefer. Plus, they can be harvested over 8 to 10 months.

Here’s how to sow lettuce directly in the field or transplant it.

1. Get salad seeds

To get salad seeds for your seedlings, you can :

either buy seeds of the variety or varieties of your choice in a garden center, such as lettuce, chicory, arugula, lamb’s lettuce… ;

or collect your seeds from 1 or 2 lettuce plants that you have left to grow without cutting the leaves so that they will flower and go to seed.

2. Sow lettuce from February to October

Depending on the variety, lettuce can be sown at different times of the year, allowing you to have a production spread out throughout the year.

February to March: lettuces, chicory;

April to June: lettuces, chicory, arugula;

July: lettuce, chicory, arugula, lamb’s lettuce;

August: lettuce, arugula, lamb’s lettuce;

September to October: lettuce, lamb’s lettuce.

3. Method 1: Sow lettuce directly in the field

Sowing lettuce directly in place means sowing it outside without protection. The advantage is that it avoids later transplanting, which is tricky.

Prepare the site

Choose a location with moderately rich, cool, and moist soil.

Loosen the soil slightly by passing a hook over a depth of 5 to 10 cm, and take advantage of this to incorporate compost or a little manure without other fertilizer.

Sow in rows

3 Steps to Sow Salads

Most often, seedlings are planted in rows.

Start by stretching a line along the length of your bed.

Following the line, make furrows 1 cm deep, for example, with the tip of a trowel, spaced 30 to 50 cm apart.

Place the lettuce seeds at the bottom of each furrow using a seeder, sowing them lightly and regularly.

Cover with a thin layer of soil or unique potting soil and compact a little with the back of the rake.

Finish by watering lightly.

Tip: keep the soil moist until the shoots emerge.

Sow by broadcasting

It is also possible to broadcast seeds, especially lamb’s lettuce seeds.

Rake the soil lightly.

Mix the seeds with fine sand.

Sow with your fingertips using large forward strokes.

Pack the soil lightly and water moderately.

Keep the soil moist until emergence.

Thin out your lettuce seedlings

When the seedlings have 2 well-formed leaves, thin out the rows to leave only one plant every 25 to 30 cm.

Tip: If the weather is not too cold, you can transplant the most robust seedlings after thinning.

Method 2: Sow lettuce plants for transplanting

When you cannot or do not wish to sow directly in the field, two steps are necessary: sow the lettuce seeds under cover, then transplant the young plants.

Sow undercover

At the end of winter and as long as frosts are to be feared, sow the lettuce seeds under cover.

Sow in rows or broadcast:

either in boxes or trays filled with seedbed soil;

or under a frame.

Pack the soil lightly and water moderately.

Keep the soil moist until emergence.

Transplant the young plants

About 1 month after sowing, when the lettuce plants have 4 to 5 leaves:

Carefully remove them with a fork without damaging their fragile roots.

Transplant them in the garden, every 25 to 40 cm depending on the variety, in rows 30 to 45 cm apart.

Equipment needed to plant lettuce

Watering can with head

Gardener’s line

Garden hook


Soil shovel



Seed drill


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