If you think a colorful mix of lettuce looks pretty on the plate, wait until you see how stunning it looks when grown side by side in the garden.
Patterned plantings play up the differences in color and texture between lettuce varieties, and make it possible to turn any garden bed or large container into a work of art.
You can use seeds, seedlings or both for this easy project.
Plant Lettuce in a Pattern:
- Envision your design. You can plant red and green lettuces in adjoining rows, blocks, diagonal lines or swirling patterns. Make a tic-tac-toe pattern by planting seeds of a vigorous green lettuce like Buttercrunch for the lines and fill in the squares with a red-leafed lettuce.
- Choose a bed or large container for your lettuce tapestry.
- Mix a 1” layer of compost and organic vegetable fertilizer into the planting space. Follow label instructions for fertilizer.
- Sow lettuce seeds atop finely cultivated soil in your selected pattern, and lightly press into place with your fingers.
- Water gently, keeping soil lightly moist until seeds germinate or seedlings show vigorous new growth.
- Gradually thin seedlings to 2” apart. Weed every week for three weeks.
- Mulch between the plants with a fine mulch material like rotted leaves or shredded hardwood chips. In addition to looking neat, the mulch will help keep leaves clean.
Use a small, patterned planting of lettuces to help teach young children how to count.