A really cool thing about all this fresh baby lettuce is that there is plenty to share.
Last year I scooped up a shovel of these small plants and put them in a plastic bag to share with a friend. She happily reported back saying that she took the time to transplant each baby plant to its own spot in her garden and then let them grow out into beautiful heads of lettuce. She had so many heads and different kinds, too.
Transplanting lettuce seedlings or baby lettuce is easy. You just have to take your time with it.
When the soil is nice and fluffy it will be easier to separate and handle the small plants without damaging the new leaves and roots. If yours has a lot of clay, patience is the key to success here. Make a mental note to amend the soil with compost or peat moss.
Wait until the area in the vicinity of the garden has thawed before handling the baby lettuce. In Central Pennsylvania that might be a few weeks before the last frost date for spring.
- Pick out a few select plants and dig a hole for each one to grow in.
- Space 10 or 12 inches so they have plenty of room to develop.
- Water lightly.
- Cover the whole area where you’ve transplanted the lettuce with an old sheet or length of material.
- Check the nightly temperatures and keep the transplants covered if close to freezing.
Remember, if there is ANY chance you won’t be able to re-cover the baby lettuce plants at the end of the day, don’t uncover them. They can still get some sunlight and definitely some warmth by being under a sheet, even if the nights are freezing.
The main thing is to continue to protect the transplants until ALL danger of frost has passed. We’re looking at middle to late May when we’ll be able to forget about covering the lettuce for a few months.
We’ll have to get closer to that time period before we can judge the exact dates for this year, so until then keep covering the lettuce transplants.