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When To Plant Lettuce [By Zone]

Would you like to know when to plant lettuce in different zones? Well, we have researched this topic and have answers for you. It's vital to understand when to plant lettuce in different zones to grow lettuce without the risk of frost or heat damage.

Lettuce should be planted during different months in different zones. Here is a list of the best months to plant lettuce in the US. Hardiness zones.

  • Zone One and Two: It's not recommended to grow lettuce in these zones.
  • Zone Three: April, May 
  • Zone Four: April, May, June
  • Zone Five: April, May, June, July
  • Zone Six: April, May, June, July
  • Zone Seven: January, February, March, September
  • Zone Eight: February, March, August, September
  • Zone Nine: February, March, April, September, October
  • Zone Ten: February, March, April, September, October, November, December
  • Zone Eleven Through Thirteen: It's not recommended to grow lettuce in these zones.

This article will teach us when to plant lettuce in different zones. We will also learn the answers to other interesting questions, such as why my lettuce is dying, and what is the best kind of lettuce. Keep reading to learn more.

A corner filled with small and large lettuce, When To Plant Lettuce [By Zone]

When To Plant Lettuce [By Zone]

Lettuce requires a different planting schedule depending on your hardiness zone. Hardiness zones are based on the coldest yearly average temperature. There are thirteen hardiness zones, and in the United States, there are zones three to ten.

Some zones can't grow lettuce any time of year outside. Any zone below three is too cold to grow lettuce. Zones above ten are also too hot to grow lettuce reliably.

Let's look at the different zones in the United States and learn the best plant schedule for lettuce.

Zone Three

In zone three, it is best to plant lettuce in April and May. Lettuce needs eight to twelve weeks to mature and needs to be kept away from frost and overwhelming heat.

Zone three will have a safe temperature window between April and August, allowing two months for planting seeds. With such a narrow planting window in zone three, it's best to keep your eye on weather warnings for frost.

Zone Four

Zone four's best planting window is between April and June. Lettuce's eight to twelve-week growing period makes it okay to grow lettuce in zone four from April to September.

If you planted lettuce in late June in zone four, watch for frost warnings in September. You may need to harvest your lettuce early or cover it with burlap.

Zone Five

Lettuce should be planted in zone five between April and July. In zone five, you can keep lettuce growing in the ground until October when it gets too cold.

If you planted lettuce in late July in zone five, watch for frost warnings in October. You may need to harvest your lettuce early or cover it with burlap.

Zone Six

Zone six has the same planting schedule as zone five. Lettuce should be planted in zone six between April and July. Like in zone five, lettuce in zone six, planted near the end of July, will need to be guarded against sudden frost.

Zone Seven

Zone seven in the first zone that's too warm in the summer to grow lettuce. When growing lettuce in zone seven, it's best to do so between January and March. There is also an extra window to grow lettuce in September.

In zone seven, you may need to watch for frost in December. When faced with frost, you can harvest your lettuce early or cover it with burlap.

Zone Eight

In zone eight, there are two windows for growing lettuce. The first window is February and March, which can see lettuce harvest til June.

The second window for planting lettuce in zone eight is between August and September. The second grow window can have lettuce growing until December.

Zone Nine

Zone nine has two growing windows for lettuce. February through April is the first growing window for lettuce. This growing window can grow lettuce until July.

Zone Ten

It's best to plant lettuce in zone ten from February through April. Since zone ten is so hot, it also has a long winter growing season.

Zone Tens' winter growing season is from September to December. This means that zone ten can grow lettuce all through winter as long as you watch for rare frost events in January.

How Do You Grow Lettuce Inside?

Indoor planted lettuce near the window

If you live in an area where you can't enjoy lettuce year round, then growing lettuce inside may be the solution. Growing lettuce inside allows you to grow lettuce year-round in environments too hot or cold for yearly outside lettuce.

When growing lettuce inside, you need pots of flats to put soil in. Flats are flat trays for holding soil and growing lettuce.

Some varieties of lettuce grow a head while others don't. Varieties of lettuce that grow a head need to be grown six inches away from other lettuce to allow them to grow correctly.

Place your pots or flats of soil in a window seal where they get sunlight. If you can't find a window seal that delivers enough sunlight, you can buy a UV light to help your lettuce grow.

Here are two of the best UV lights available on amazon.

1000W LED Grow Light

You can find this product here on Amazon.

TOAD LED Grow Lights

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Be sure to water your lettuce daily. If lettuce dries, it can quickly stress out and die. While keeping your lettuce watered is vital, be sure not to overwater to avoid the myriad of issues that can cause.

It can also be good to fertilize your lettuce lightly. Avoid over-fertilizing to keep from burning your lettuce.

If you follow all these steps, you will have great homegrown lettuce in eight to twelve weeks.

Why Is My Lettuce Dying?

Withered lettuce on a white background

There are three common reasons your lettuce may be dying. These common reasons are overwatering, underwatering, and over-fertilizing.

Let's look at the signs of each issue and how to remedy them.

Overwatering

One sign that you may be overwatering is water pooling in the soil. While you want the soil around your lettuce damp, you don't want it soaked.

Lettuce that has been overwatered will start turning yellow since its roots can't breathe. Your lettuce may also gain black or white spots from bacterial or fungal infections.

To help lettuce that has been overwatered, stop watering for a few days to allow the soil to dry. If your lettuce has gained a bacterial or fungal infection, you will need to treat that.

While most bacterial infections cause black spots and most fungal infections cause white spots, we don't need to identify which type of infection your lettuce has if you spray it with a product containing fungicides and bactericides.

Here are two of the best sprays on Amazon for treating both bacteria and fungus.

Monterey Fungicide & Bactericide

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Mighty Mint Plant Protection Spray

You can find this product here on Amazon.

Underwatering

When underwatering lettuce, you will see that your lettuce is wilting and that the soil is dry to the touch. To remedy underwatering, increase your lettuce's watering times several minutes daily. Be sure not to increase watering times too fast to avoid overwatering issues.

Over-Fertilizing

Identifying if you have overfertilized your lettuce is straight forwards. If you notice that your lettuce starts turning yellow a day or two after fertilizing, then it's likely the culprit.

You need to flush the soil to help lettuce that's been over-fertilized. You can do this by soaking the soil the lettuce is planted in for an hour. This will allow the excess fertilizer to dissolve in the water and be flushed away.

If you don't see significant improvement in your lettuce in a few days, you may need to flush the soil again.

What Is The Best Kind Of Lettuce?

While the best kind of lettuce is a preference, there are some types of lettuce that are more popular than others. Here are some of the most popular kinds of lettuce and why they're famous.

Butterhead Lettuce

A big ball of healthy lettuce

Butterhead Lettuce is a very popular lettuce with many varieties. Butterhead lettuce is best known for its buttery flavor that enriches dishes. 

Green-Leaf Lettuce

A green and healthy lettuce

Green-Leaf Lettuce is popular lettuce with a more robust flavor than Iceberg and a little less crunch. Green-Leaf Lettuce can be great lettuce to try for salads or soups.

Iceberg Lettuce

Two balls of lettuce on a white background

Iceberg lettuce is well known for its distinctive crunch. While Iceberg lettuce has fewer nutrients than darker lettuce, it makes up for it with the crunch that helps to define tocos and coleslaw.

Red-Leaf Lettuce

A purple lettuce on a white background

Red-Leaf lettuce tastes the same as Green-Leaf lettuce but with a creative red flare. Use Red-Leaf lettuce to add color to any salad.

Romaine Lettuce

A healthy lettuce on a white background

Romaine lettuce is widely popular for its distinctive taste and texture. Romaine lettuce is a staple in caesar salads and many other popular dishes.

Final Thoughts

A corner filled with small and large lettuce

In this article, we learned when to plant lettuce in different zones. We also learned how to grow lettuce inside and treat common reasons for lettuce dying.

Remember, while lettuce choice is a preference, some lettuces go better with certain dishes.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to learn more, check out some of these other posts.

Can Lettuce Survive A Freeze? [And How To Prevent It From Dying]

How To Grow Lettuce In A Vertical Garden