100 Replies to “How to grow lettuce: sow, plant, protect plus the Charles Dowding picking method”

  1. Hello Charles! How do the plants handle "wet" fleece when you receive substantial rain? Do you find it harms them in any way?

  2. I live in my great grandfather's home, my backyard still springs to life with what he sowed many years ago, I was 6 or 7 when he passed, he was a horticulturist and professer @TCU he worked at Wolf nursery well into his late 80s and knew everything about plants, my backyard was once his and when people recall or talk about it today their eyes light up, I have a few memory's and it was like nothing I have seen todate. I'm often feel I really missed out being so young when he passed, your videos remind me of him as you are blessed to be a good teacher and very knowledgeable about all kinds of God's green creations. THANK YOU your videos are wonderful and I like to think some of what I've learned he would have taught me. ( had to edit as God's green creations needed a (N) as God's "gree" creations….. sounds a bit funny

  3. How does the fleece go with rain? It doesn't get heavy and crush the seedlings?
    I love your videos by the way. Last year I changed my garden to no dig and its just getting better and better!

  4. Thank you so much for your garden tips. I love to see it. I have just seen your program on lettuce, and I wonder if you have a tip: every time I grow Cos lettuce, they turn bitter. I dont think they need water. What am I doing wrong? 🤔
    Thank you in advance 🙂.

  5. I'm thrilled to have found your videos, Charles, and as I have ME, and two other brain conditions, my garden is now going no dig. Not only do I not have the energy for it, but I've seen the benefits of this system from a few people now, and seeing your trials has really driven it all home from a production scale too. My garden has had a battle to fight as the previous owner sprayed it to death to have lawns like bowling greens. I don't think he'd be too happy with how they are now, but after 5 years of being totally chemical free there is life back here 🙂 My issue though is that the eco system is still slightly out of balance, and I do suffer with black and green fly. I was wondering how you keep these off of your lettuce?

  6. I like re-watching many of your videos for the tips and education. I was was wondering if you've ever tried the narrower 30'' beds like many other growers? and if so why you prefer your 39'' beds? I find successional sowing to be the most difficult bit to get to grips with, I have several of your books but I still find I have either too many seedlings or I'm waiting on them! Thanks

  7. Thank you so much! How much of your advice can be "converted" to containers? Do you address patio veg pots in one of your books? Thank you!

  8. Very informative, Thank you for sharing your knowledge
    What are some of the best lettuce varieties to grow for leaf harvesting, i.e. long life, faster leaf growth and generation.

  9. What is happening with the Volkswagen in the background at minutes 15-18.
    The grill and the roof rack. Driving me nutty!

  10. I’d like to see the same experiment but with vermiculite mixed with the home made compost too, I think the home made stuff would win then!

  11. I used your method and advice last summer and had endless lettuce leaves for months with only 3 showings! Fed not just myself but lots of others too. Am now hooked on growing own lettuce, even got some in the greenhouse for over the winter! Many thanks 😊

  12. Hello Charles, another interesting tutorial you've made here. Thanks a lot for all these precious detailed informations. What kind of fleece do you use to cover the beds in early spring ? Is it a Polypropylene non-woven veil ? And what's the thickness do you use ? 16, 30, 50 or more gr/m² ? My position is 47° Lat North and 600 m elev.

  13. Yeh, right. The seeds grown in Vermiculite have done better than the ones in compost. "Well I did water them, but not the compost".

    Not sure about Vermiculite, but Perlite can be dangerous if you breath in the dust. I stopped using it for my cacti. Now use Tesco dust free cat litter.

  14. I just found you. Love all the advice! My first video was of your potato plants. I will be retiring in about a year at 63 and want to get back into gardening both flowers and vegetables. I am a nurse and have just worked too much to do any of it for years. I wanted to just say once a nurse always a nurse, you have amazing veins!! I could hit those with a 14 gauge from across the room.

  15. I find that Romaine often smells like tobacco. I'm very sensitive to that smell; is it related to tobacco? Another subject o have a question on; I watch a video on parsnips. The video stated that parsnip seeds go bad after a year. Is this true?

  16. Question please: Once seeds have germinated in warm house, can we just move them to the unheated greenhouse until they grow larger ? Or do we need to bring them back into house every night to slowly acclimatize them to unheated environment? Thank you so much for your videos !

  17. Hi Charles, thank you for this- am just doing my business plan for this year. Can I clarify- your bed is 4 foot and you plant 9" apart and on June 2nd you picked 19kg in total, or was the 19 kilos including the other 5 pickings? 19kilos per pick for the bed seems amazing. Maybe I am misunderstanding? Thank you- also you know my dear friends Ivan and Xen Short! Small small world!

  18. Question, how are they getting light with the fleece on? Do you take the fleece off in the day and only put it on at night when it's chilly?

  19. I am so glad I found you! Currently all of your videos from the beginning and taking notes. Also got your book Garden Diary and can’t wait to read it. You are a true inspiration.

  20. Within the last six months I've decided to learn to garden simply because when I buy lettuce it goes bad before I use all of it (despite intentions to eat salads all the time). I wish I would have discovered your videos earlier. Zone 8b here, not sure what yours is but it seems similar but maybe colder. I've learned a lot in the last few months growing organically and hydroponically. I've seen about ten of your videos now and learned more in them then I did with personal experience which is saying a lot because I have bell peppers and tomatoes just about ripe right now indoors (not recommended, way too big for my setup). We've had plenty of amazing salads and I really appreciate you showing us how to sow the different sizes in the ground. What is that ground cover you use for your rows? It almost looks like some sort of thin fleece but I've never seen it before. Does all of the lettuce you plant form into heads? We've been picking the lower leaves and letting them keep going for the most part. You're definitely getting more yield from your beds. Thanks again for sharing so much expertise and insight.

  21. I have given up trying to grow lettuce, I didn`t even buy any seeds this year, and then I watched your video. I could see exactly what was the problem, the watering was where I was going wrong.I feel re-energised and can`t wait to have another go. Thank you Charles.

  22. I am a big fan of yours since finding your channel. The problem I have at the moment is trying to find the Lettuce seed that you mention by name, Suttons, and Thompson and Morgan don't seem to stock them, also I can't seem to find Taunton Kale seed either ? So do you mind very much if I ask you who your supplier is please. Thanking you, Harry.

  23. I typically find my lettuce getting bitter as the summer heats up, how do you avoid this in zone 8? Maybe the outer leaf picking technique?

  24. Hello Charles, when you prick out the lettuce, and put it in the tray, I noticed there is no vermiculite in the compost. It isn’t necessary to have it in the transplanted tray at that time? Thank you

  25. Charles, do you grow Salanova variety lettuce? If so, can you harvest it the same way you harvest your other lettuce, by picking outer leaves?

  26. Is it OK to cover trays with lettuce seeds with a transparent cover/box a bit like a mini greenhouse? I've just sown some seeds now in February but its not very warm here in South Yorkshire. I've kept them in a transparent storage type box next to the central heating in my kitchen. I don't have much space or a poly tunnel/greenhouse. You mentioned they don't like too much water. Any advice?

  27. this is great !!! I am focusing on lettuce and other salad greens this year (2019) and your videos on lettuce are very helpful !! <3

  28. Wondered if you had seen these. Only available in America for now. Can't wait to get my hands on some of them! https://www.gardeners.com/buy/galvanized-seed-starting-tray/8595893.html?fbclid=IwAR1OiP6bZTnbQC6fWR9abxsSM9GZl0ot2EVo0eiZd3kxxn1mCGXDYrDwoVM#q=seed%2Bstart&simplesearch=submit&start=9

  29. In another persons video on growing lettuce for continual harvest, he sewed a great amount of seeds in a large flower pot and then would harvest by cutting them all down with scissors leaving about an inch of the plants. He would continue to do this. Have you had any experience with this method, and if so, is it a method you would recommend?

  30. Maybe get a pump up pressure sprayer for watering your seeds so it's very fine and doesn't splash water everywhere. They are very useful indeed

  31. At 23:26. I couldn't help but be amazed at how little weeds are in your patch! How is there no weeds?!

  32. I find if you plant space at 7 1/4 inches with Paris Island cos is you can pick one leaf from each plant everyday for the first month then two leaves a day if you choose in the second month and still get healthy large hearts so in a 10 ft. row you get about 14-15 plants that's a lot of large leaves everyday up to the heart harvesting. the other fascinating thing about this spacing is its guaranteed hearts a week before bolting where if you space much farther like 12 inches you wont get a heart or any warning of bolting.

  33. Just found your videos today and I can't stop watching. Your inspiring and easy no stress approach it's even better in your wonderfully relaxing voice. Thank you for such great content. My garden is going to be even less stress this year

  34. You called one variety "maravilla di Verona" (like the city in Italy). Umm. No. It is "maravilla di verano" lettuce – marvel of summer.

  35. Another great video Charles, one question I’d like to ask is on watering, we see you with your two watering cans giving life to your seedlings and I was thinking do you use Tap water for seed sowing and the same for young seedlings, or use Rainwater for sowing and seedlings?
    I’ve just planted my Raddish plants into my raised bed, I sowed them on the 17th Feb, and I’m trying your way of multi sowing 🤞.
    Thanks Charles

  36. I love how you follow one vegetable through the entire growing season. It makes it so much easier to understand that vegetable. BTW, what's up with the alien car in the background of the video where you are planting out the lettuces?

  37. Absolutely the best video I've seen on how to grow lettuce. My lettuce keeps dying and now I understand why. Thank you so much for this video. I'm working my way through all of your videos!

  38. I bought 3 rotary compost makers last year and I guess there's lots of compost ready but… If used for planting seeds in and maybe potatoes in pots what do I need to do about little critters? The compost looks like worm, wireworm and slug city!

  39. He is my absolute favorite gardener!! Always bringing such class & knowledge to gardening, so much wisdom! I enjoy watching (listening really!) while I’m preparing meals or cleaning up the house, in anticipation of getting outside as soon as possible to implement what he’s teaching! Very inspiring! And so grateful to have learned of his no-dig method which will save me much unnecessary back aches this spring!
    Thank you to Mr. Dowding! 🙏🏻🌷

  40. I was wondering if most seeds can be planted like you have done with lettuce and then pricked out? Also can most seedlings be planted deep, below the soil line? Love your videos !!

  41. Hi Charles, I wondered if you have a method for saving purchased seed. I always seem to find myself taking advantage of more seed for less money and then find I have shoe boxes filled with old seeds. I'm thinking of keeping seeds separated by year then tossing out after 2 to 3years. I hate waste. I do use trials in moist paper towels but that seems time consuming at a busy time of year!

  42. So glad i found these fantastic videos. I bought the diary and received it today 🙂 Hopefully my 3 no digs beds will be abundant this year

  43. This video us a great help! Is that a shading cloche I see for the lettuce in direct sun or if not what do you do to prevent bolting on hot days in direct sun?

  44. You just said you water one side during the sowing and not the other side.!!
    This clearly explains why you have a thinner and weaker plant on the side which you water less!
    The compost had contributed but that is not the reason for you stronger sideling because at the early stages the water play the most important part.

  45. Thank you for this! I have never has success with lettuces here in Florida. I can now see some mistakes I've made and will adjust this year.

  46. I suppose that’s why the selfsown lettuce on the pathways always does so well 😂❤️

  47. Thank you Charles for all of your awesome videos. Since I have discovered your channel, I tell everyone about you! I've been using the no dig system for several years now, but I've never had much success with sowing in modules. Your lessons have inspired me. Again, thank you!

  48. What happens after the harvest for washing, drying,? What kind of packaging and shelf life and storage do you have? I'm trying to decide do I need some kind of a coldstore to be a success with a market garden.

  49. I learned use earth humus,sand or vermiculite, vegetable soil or simple soil from my.own proprietary and bone meal from "Horta e Jardim, you tube channel Junior Romero, now I will try your way! Always improve my Garden style! Tanks for sharing!

  50. I do the pricking out with my tomatoes and peppers. Never thought to do lettuces. And I will stop avoiding vermiculite which I have done for years. Thanks for an awesome presentation.

  51. Hi, Charles! I'm new in gardening. I think I watched probably all of your videos and learned a great deal from you. Following your method, I had very satisfying result growing lettece from seed this spring. But the batch I sown (lollo Rosso and lollo bionda) in late May or early June didn't work out at all. I noticed that they didn't develope as much root as they did in the spring by the time they had three or four leaves and they all dried out in the garden. You must have some nice advice for us on growing lettuce, or leafy green in general, in the summer months. Please help! Thank you!

  52. I just bought free peat for seedling today, hopefully it helps on germination. Do you think free peat will improve the germination?

  53. When do I need to harvest lettuce seeds? Collect the small dandelion-like flowers and let them dry? Collet the white puffs which is where the plant is now? Probably this puff stage?

  54. Hey Charles, I by now have seen severel of your videos, especially about no dig beds and compost, and I am already trying to create my own beds. Here my qestion: Could you maybe make a video on how to deal with slugs? Your lattuce does not seem to be harmed at all and I think that slugs are something meny people have a Problem with. So thanks for all that amazing inspiring Content:)

  55. Put on this video as I went outside to tend to my lettuce seedlings only to find all but one of my trays flipped. 🙁

    Hopefully some will recover. Probably too late to sow anymore for winter. At least I have some great advice for starting again next year.

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