Grand Rapids Looseleaf Lettuce Guide

The most common and loved loose leaf lettuce, this variety is a great salad base that keeps the frills on the leaves. Quick to produce, this lettuce is a great choice for those in a hurry to harvest.

 

TO SOW

Grand Rapids loose-leaf lettuce grows best in cooler weather between 55°F-70°F. They do great in containers and small gardens. Bank on Seeds recommends direct seeding.

 If Direct Seeding

  • Direct seed outside 3-4 weeks after last frost date; or
  • Direct seed into a container 12-14 inches deep and wide anytime of the year. It can be placed outside when the temperature is between 55°F-70°F; or

If Transplanting

Begin the growing season early and start the lettuce seeds indoors in trays or pods 6 weeks before the last frost date. Germination is best and fastest between 45°F-70°F. It can be transplanted outside 6-8 weeks later.

Sow 2-3 seeds 1/8th of an inch deep and 8-10 inches apart. If planting multiple rows leave 12-18 inches in between. Germination will take 7-10 days.  Sow more seeds every 3 weeks for continuous harvesting.

TO GROW

Grand Rapids lettuce likes well-draining and well-worked soil rich in organic matter. They also like full sun and cool growing conditions but will tolerate partial shade. Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist and do not let the soil dry out for long.  Check the top 1-2 inches of soil and if it is dry, then water it.

Apply mulch to the top of soil to retain moisture, regulate temperature and deter weeds. No additional fertilizer is required but if you want, add aged compost or all-purpose fertilizer like 10-10-10 to the top of the soil.

TO REAP

Grand Rapids lettuce is ready to harvest in 45 days. Cut leaves as needed as soon as they start forming or wait until full maturity to cut the whole head of loose-leaf lettuce. Harvesting in the morning when it is cool outside is recommended.

PESTS/DISEASES

Resistant to tip burn

Aphids, cutworms, leaf miners, cabbage loopers, slugs, snails – hand pick off, neem oil, insecticidal spray, plant collar or row covers, spray with pesticide containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

*Plant lettuce with basil, dill, cilantro, thyme, sage, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and strawberries. Avoid planting with members of the brassica family such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and kale. *