How Many Lettuce Seeds Per Hole?

Last updated: 03/22/21

It always a good idea to grow your own vegetables, especially with the risk of insecticides and pollution contaminating our food. It’s also very convenient to just go pick the freshest lettuce directly from your garden.

Nothing can beat the crispiness of freshly picked lettuce for your fresh salad.

There are many leaf lettuce varieties like Romaine or Arugula that you can plant in your vegetable garden. You might think planting lettuce from seed is difficult, but it is easy.

You need three things, a container, rich loamy soil, and of course, quality seeds. You can place the lettuce plant in a separate plot together with other types of plants like tomato plants or pepper plants.

These plants can provide partial shade during the hot summer months.

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How Many Lettuce Seeds Per Hole Should I Use?

Not all seeds have the same quality, and individual seeds have different seed germination rates.

Lettuce has a high germination rate and planting between 2-3 lettuce seeds per cell or hole would be the best option.  Planting 1 seed per hole can be risky in case it doesn’t germinate.

Afterward, select the best seedling to use in your garden and nip the others to make sure only a single head will grow in the hole. 

Keep the hole between 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil, and since the seeds are tiny, sprinkle them on the sifted soil. Keep the soil moist by watering but do not overdo it.

Germination takes time, it can take around 7-14 days, but it can be faster in warmer temperatures. Lettuce prefers cool weather, place the lettuce where there are 6-8  hours of sunlight a day. 

Other Method For Starting Lettuce Seeds

Sowing means placing seeds and healthy plants into the ground.  The amount of skill and care you put into seed planting will decide how successful your entire crop will be.

It will also determine if you have an excellent or poor germination rate. 

Sowing seeds is an important skill that every gardener should have. Improper sowing will result in poor seedling selection and poor plant yield.

lettuce seeds how many per hole


Broadcast is the method of sowing seeds by scattering seeds to the soil using your hand. It may take some getting used to, but with a lot of practice, you will be able to cover the garden bed.

It is often used for plants with small varieties of seeds like lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and onion seeds. When broadcasting, the seeds should at least be one to two inches apart.

Broadcasting is not recommended for plants with larger seeds. 

Direct Seeding 

Direct seeding involves dropping seeds in holes created by digging or moving soil. The gardener would drop the lettuce seed at the bottom of the cells or holes less than an inch deep.

It is usually advisable to place a pinch of seeds or 2-3 seeds per hole to ensure no empty space in the seed tray or garden. It is tempting to plant only 1 seed per hole, but it may not germinate.

This method ensures that individual plants or seedlings will have consistent seed spacing. Seedlings mustn’t be too crowded.

Seedlings that are too close to each other are weaker and more prone to plant diseases. 

Which Sowing Method is Better?

It depends, broadcast sowing is more straightforward and takes a little less time.

You can have a packet of seeds and just put seeds in your hand and scatter the seeds evenly in the moist garden plot and cover thinly with sifted composted soil.

Your lettuce seedlings will grow densely, and you have an instant lettuce garden. Arugula, for example, can be broadcasted with other green varieties. 

On the other hand, crisphead lettuce’s like the iceberg will need more space between them. This is due to its cabbage-like head, which is bulkier compared to Arugula.

For this type of lettuce, it’s better to use the direct seeding method instead of the broadcast method. The direct seeding method will ensure that each lettuce head will have enough space to grow. 

Lettuce Growing Tips

When To Plant Lettuce Seeds

Lettuce is best grown during spring and fall because it is a cool-weather crop. Its ideal temperature for germination is around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lettuce needs at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight. While waiting for warm weather you can start early by planting indoors using a seed tray or seed container.

That will give you a 4 to 6 weeks headstart. However, it’s recommended to do a direct sow as soon as the ground is warm enough and ready. 

How To Plant Lettuce Seeds Step-By-Step

You can plant lettuce by direct sowing or transplanting lettuce seedlings. Planting lettuce is easy all you have to do is follow the following steps :

Direct Sowing of Seeds

1. Prepare the soil by making 1/8 to 1/2 deep holes spaced two inches apart and rows twelve to eighteen inches apart. 

2. Place at least 2-3 seeds per hole.  Lettuce seeds require light to germinate so cover with thin soil. 

3. Water regularly to keep the soil moist, be careful since too much water pressure might wash out the seeds. 

4. Thin the seedlings when they are two to three inches.

lettuce seeds per hole tips

Transplanting Lettuce Seedlings

1. Prepare the ground and make sure the seedlings have at least ten to twelve inches of space between them.

2. Make sure the seedlings have at least 4 to 6 leaves and well-developed roots before replanting them in the garden.

3. Water the seedlings just after transplanting.

Lettuce Seed Germination Time

When the soil reaches a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit you can start sowing the lettuce seeds. But ideally, the seeds will germinate at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

The lettuce seedlings will usually appear after 7 to 10 days. 

Caring For Lettuce Seedlings

You have to fertilize the lettuce with organic materials at least three weeks after transplanting. Make sure the soil is moist but not too wet so you have to drain it well.

Remove weeds by hand but make sure you do not damage the roots of the lettuce plant. Use row covers to protect the lettuce from drying out due to the sun.

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Final Thoughts

Your lettuce seedlings should be ready for harvesting when they are 3 to 6 inches long. You can pick individual leaves or harvest the entire head. Enjoy your crisp, fresh, and succulent lettuce harvest. 

Related Questions

What happens if you put too many seeds in a hole?

There will be a high probability that multiple seeds will germinate so you have cut the weaker seedlings and retain the strongest plant. 

What happens if you plant seeds too close together?

If the seeds are too close together the lettuce plant will be crowded. Crowding will restrict the growth of the lettuce heads and encourage pests and diseases. 

Green Thumb Gardener
lettuce seeds garden tutorial
Jeremy Starke

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