The Q&A Archives: Head Lettuce

Question: I am growing head lettuce for the first time and the 'head's seem to be growing quite tall instead of full. They are now about 12" tall. Is this normal or is there something I can do to prevent this?

Answer: Lettuce is a cool-season crop that has a tendency to bolt, or grow a flower and seed stalk when the weather's too warm. It sounds as though that's what is happening to your crop. Try to grow lettuce early in the season so it matures prior to the heat of the summer, or plant lettuce seeds in August so they'll mature in the cool fall months. There's not much you can do to salvage your lettuce at this point - the leaves are likely to taste bitter if harvested now. Try planting again in a few weeks.

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