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Growing Good Food at Home

Leafy Lettuce: The Complete Guide to Growing, Cooking, and Eating Lettuce

Norann Oleson, Editorial Director of Food Gardening Network

Norann Oleson, Editorial Director of Food Gardening Network

Let us celebrate the delicious, leafy world of lettuce!

Lettuce isn’t native to North America, but it’s certainly made itself at home here. The United States is the second largest lettuce producer worldwide, surpassed only by China, which keeps most of its crop in-country.

You can grow lettuce anywhere with mild days and cool nights; in fact, you can even grow it in space! This cool-weather crop is a sure-fire way to enjoy fresh greens for months on end.

Lettuce will grow in open land, in raised beds, and in containers; you can even grow it hydroponically, if you like.

First is the collection’s Introduction, where you’ll learn some of the basics about lettuce and how to choose the right variety to grow. You’ll also get the history of this highly regarded vegetable!

Next, in the Feature Articles, you’ll get specifics about lettuce growing—from the four types of lettuce plants to the best way to start growing (seed? seedling? cutting?) to watering, fertilizing, and harvesting your lettuce for optimal taste.

There’s a lot to know about lettuce growing, so even if you’re a veteran, you might learn something new. We aim to gather everything there is to know about lettuce growing into this single collection!

We include detailed Plant Profiles of some of the most popular varieties of lettuce, including options for gardeners around the country and those who want to grow lettuce plants in containers.

While there are hundreds of varieties of lettuce you can grow., we’ve chosen these lettuce profiles to give you a taste of what’s available—including some varieties with a little extra color. If you’d like us to include another lettuce variety that appeals to you, please let me know by commenting below.

After all, this is Food Gardening Network, and we want to include the knowledge of all our gardening readers in everything we do. Your input is just as important to us as anything we come up with on our own!

We do think you’ll love the lettuce Recipes we’ve compiled for you to enjoy your lettuce harvest. No salad recipes, though; we’re exploring lettuce possibilities beyond the salad bowl. Make a sandwich without bread; fire up the grill; heat up the wok. These are recipes to spark your culinary imagination!

After that, you’ll be interested to learn how lettuce can benefit your health in Nutrition Facts about Lettuce. Some varieties of lettuce have more vitamins than your vitamins!

Then there are the Home Remedies & Health Benefits of Lettuce where you’ll learn how lettuce is thought to help heart health, prevent cancer, and contribute to better digestive health.

Because we want you to have everything there is to know about lettuce at your fingertips, we’ve included a Resources section that’s complementary to this collection. Learn more about tools specific to lettuce growing, and kitchen tools that will come in handy after you’ve harvested your lettuce.

As always, we’ve included a brief Glossary in case you need a deeper explanation of any key terms. Be sure to let us know if there’s something else you need explained!

I’m off to make some Light & Lovely Lettuce Soup right now, but I hope you’re ready to dig in and become a master lettuce grower!


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