Baby Head Lettuce is a smaller variety of lettuce that is valued for its tender leaves and quick maturity. It thrives in cooler temperatures and can be grown in both spring and fall. Lettuce prefers full to partial sun and well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. The soil should be enriched with compost or a balanced organic fertilizer.
For a continuous harvest, practice succession planting every 2-3 weeks. In warmer climates, baby head lettuce can benefit from shade to prevent bolting (going to seed prematurely).
Sow seeds directly into the garden 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 6-8 inches apart to give each plant enough space to develop. Lettuce requires consistent, even moisture to grow well, so water regularly, especially during dry spells. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and control weeds.
For more information on growing baby head lettuce, including specific varieties and troubleshooting, refer to our comprehensive lettuce grow guide.
Diseases, Insects, and Weeds
Pests such as aphids and slugs, and diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew, can affect lettuce. Use row covers to protect plants, and apply organic or chemical controls as needed. Good sanitation and proper spacing help prevent disease spread.
Harvest baby head lettuce when the heads are formed but still small and tender. Cut the head at the base to harvest. Regular harvesting and removing older leaves can encourage new growth and extend the harvest period.
Storage and Preservation
Baby head lettuce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. It's best used fresh, as lettuce does not freeze or can well. However, you can prolong its life by washing and drying the leaves, then storing them in a sealed container with a paper towel to absorb moisture.