Tips for successfully growing and caring for lamb’s lettuce in the ideal sowing location


If you want to enjoy fresh salads straight from your garden, lamb’s lettuce is a great choice. This easy-to-grow vegetable doesn’t mind the winter cold and can be sown in several batches throughout the season, providing you with a continuous harvest. Also known as corn salad or Mache, lamb’s lettuce is a small-leaved plant with rosettes that can grow to several inches wide.

When it comes to sowing lamb’s lettuce, September is the best time in most localities. The tiny seeds are scattered on the surface and lightly covered with soil or compost. Raised beds are recommended, especially in colder climates, to help with drainage and keep the temperature more mild.

Caring for lamb’s lettuce is fairly straightforward. It is a hardy plant that doesn’t require much attention. Watering is only necessary during dry spells, and even then, it’s best to be moderate to avoid root rot. Lamb’s lettuce doesn’t need much fertilizer, but if you want to give it a boost, well-rotted manure can be applied before planting.

As the lamb’s lettuce grows, you can start harvesting small amounts when the leaves are large enough for salads. This usually takes about six to eight weeks after planting. To keep a continuous harvest, you can sow new batches every two to three weeks.

Whether you choose to grow lamb’s lettuce in an open field or a greenhouse, the temperature should be kept between 40 to 65°F (4 to 18°C) for optimal growth. If you have any questions about lamb’s lettuce cultivation, this guide should provide you with answers and help you keep your lettuce plants healthy.

“Lettuce is like conversation; it must be fresh and crisp, and so sparkling that you scarcely notice the bitter in it.”

– Charles Dudley Warner

What to Plant When in Your Locality

If you are new to gardening or just want a reliable guide for planting in your area, we recommend considering the local climate and the specific requirements of the plants you’d like to grow. While some plants can be grown year-round in a greenhouse, others thrive in certain seasons or require specific care.

For example, lamb’s lettuce, also known as valerianella, is an easy-to-grow plant that produces tasty and nutritious rosettes. It can be sown and harvested in batches throughout the year, but for the best results, it is recommended to sow it in the spring or fall.

If you are planting outdoors, choose a well-draining spot with plenty of sunlight. Lamb’s lettuce prefers cooler temperatures and can handle light frosts, so it is an ideal crop for winter gardening. However, if you live in a warmer climate, you may want to provide some shade to the seedlings during the hottest part of the day.

Before sowing, prepare the ground by removing any weeds and adding organic matter or well-rotted manure to improve the soil’s fertility. Scatter the seeds on the surface and lightly rake them into the soil. Keep the area watered, but be careful not to overwater as this can cause the seeds to rot.

The lamb’s lettuce seeds will germinate quickly, and within a few weeks, you will see the tiny seedlings emerge. As the plants grow, thin them out to give each rosette enough space to develop fully. This will help promote healthy growth and prevent the lettuce from becoming overcrowded.

Lamb’s lettuce can be harvested when the leaves are young and tender. You can either pick the leaves as needed or cut the entire rosette at the base. The more you harvest, the more the plant will produce, so don’t be afraid to enjoy its fresh and delicious leaves throughout the season.

One thing to keep in mind is that lamb’s lettuce can become more bitter as it matures, so if you prefer a milder flavor, harvest it when the leaves are young. Additionally, if you plan to save some seeds for future planting, let a few of the plants bolt and produce flowers before harvesting them.

In conclusion, growing lamb’s lettuce is an easy and rewarding experience. By following this guide, you will have a good understanding of when and where to plant this versatile green in your locality. Enjoy the process and the delicious taste of freshly grown lettuce!


Planting and Growing Guide for Lamb’s Lettuce Valerianella locusta

Lamb’s lettuce, also known as Valerianella locusta, is a popular salad green that is easy to grow. Whether you want to plant it indoors or outdoors, there are a few key things to consider to ensure a successful harvest.

If you wish to grow lamb’s lettuce outdoors, it is important to choose the best spots in your garden. A location that receives partial shade is ideal, as lamb’s lettuce can be sensitive to hot weather. The soil should be rich in organic matter and well-draining.

For indoor cultivation, lamb’s lettuce can be grown in containers or raised beds. Make sure to place them in a spot that receives plenty of natural light, like a sunny windowsill or a greenhouse.

Sowing Lamb’s Lettuce Seeds

To start growing lamb’s lettuce from seeds, you can sow them directly into the ground or start seedlings indoors and transplant them later.

If you decide to sow the seeds directly outside, prepare the ground by removing any weeds and loosening the soil. Sow the seeds thinly, about 1 inch apart, and cover them lightly with soil. Keep the soil consistently moist until the seedlings emerge.

If you choose to start seedlings indoors, fill a seed tray or small pots with seed compost. Sow the seeds thinly and cover them with a thin layer of compost. Keep the soil evenly watered and place the tray or pots in a warm and bright location. Once the seedlings have developed a few true leaves, they can be transplanted outside.

Growing Lamb’s Lettuce

Once your lamb’s lettuce seedlings are planted or your outdoor seeds have sprouted, it’s important to provide the right care to ensure their growth.

Lamb’s lettuce prefers mild weather, so keep an eye on the temperature and protect the plants from extreme heat or cold. Water the plants regularly, making sure to keep the soil consistently moist. Over-watering can lead to rot, so be careful not to overdo it.

Lamb’s lettuce is a fast-growing plant and can be harvested when the leaves reach about 2 inches in length. You can either harvest individual leaves or cut the entire plant about an inch above the ground to allow it to regrow.

It’s worth noting that the leaves of lamb’s lettuce have a slightly bitter taste, which some people might find appealing. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can blanch the leaves by covering them with a cardboard box or a bucket a few days before harvesting.

Store and Use

Lamb’s lettuce is best used fresh in salads or as a garnish. If you have more lamb’s lettuce than you can consume, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Before storing, make sure to wash and dry the leaves thoroughly.

If you’re an experienced gardener and wish to save seeds from your lamb’s lettuce plants, allow some plants to bolt and produce flowers. Once the flowers have bloomed, tiny seeds will form. Harvest the seeds when they turn brown and store them in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to sow them again.

In conclusion, lamb’s lettuce is an easy-to-grow salad green that can be enjoyed year-round. By following this planting and growing guide, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh lamb’s lettuce from your own garden.


Lamb’s lettuce, also known as corn salad or mache, is a leafy green vegetable that is easy to grow and harvest. It is a cold-weather plant that thrives in cool temperatures, making it a popular choice for autumn and winter gardens.

When growing lamb’s lettuce, it is important to choose a suitable location for sowing. The plant prefers a shady spot, but it can also tolerate some sun. It is best to sow the seeds directly in the garden soil, as lamb’s lettuce does not transplant well. Sow the seeds in September for a winter harvest.

The seeds should be scattered on the soil surface and lightly covered with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil moist during the germination period, which usually takes about 7-10 days. Once the seedlings have emerged, thin them to about 15-20 cm apart to allow for proper growth.

Lamb’s lettuce grows well in rich, well-rotted soil. If your soil is not naturally fertile, it is recommended to add organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve the soil quality.

Harvesting lamb’s lettuce can be done at any time once the leaves are large enough to eat. The leaves are ready to harvest when they reach about 5-10 cm in length. Simply cut the leaves at the base of the plant, leaving the rest of the plant to continue growing.

Lamb’s lettuce is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a mild and slightly nutty flavor, making it a great addition to salads. It can also be cooked or used as a topping for sandwiches and wraps.

In summary, lamb’s lettuce is an easy and rewarding vegetable to grow. It can be sown in September for a winter harvest and is best grown in a shady spot with plenty of moisture. It can be harvested several times throughout the growing season and keeps well in the refrigerator. So, if you’re looking for a tasty and nutritious addition to your garden, give lamb’s lettuce a try!

Planting Guide

If you wish to grow lamb’s lettuce (Valerianella locusta) in your vegetable garden, here is a planting guide to help you get started. Lamb’s lettuce, also known as corn salad or mâche, is a popular salad green that can be grown in both mild winter and cool summer climates. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals and has a mild, nutty flavor.

When choosing a spot to sow your lamb’s lettuce, consider the climate of your locality. It grows best in cool temperatures, so if you live in a region with hot summers, it is recommended to sow the seeds in early spring or in late summer for a fall harvest. The ideal temperature for lamb’s lettuce growth is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lamb’s lettuce can be sown directly in the ground or started indoors as seedlings. If sowing directly in the ground, prepare the soil by removing any weeds or rocks and breaking it up with a fork or hoe. Lamb’s lettuce prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, so it is beneficial to amend the soil with well-rotted manure or compost before planting.

If starting lamb’s lettuce indoors, sow the seeds in small batches in trays or containers filled with seed-starting mix. Keep the soil lightly moist and place the trays in a well-lit area, such as a sunny windowsill or under grow lights. Once the seedlings have grown to a few inches tall, they can be transplanted outdoors.

To sow the seeds, make tiny furrows in the soil about half an inch deep and one inch apart. Sprinkle the seeds along the furrows and cover them lightly with soil. Water gently to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to overwater as this may cause the seeds to rot.

Lamb’s lettuce grows best in open, light spots, but it can also tolerate some shade. It has a relatively short growing season and can be harvested 6 to 8 weeks after planting. The leaves are best harvested when they are young and tender, before they become too large and bitter.

If you have any questions or need further guidance on growing lamb’s lettuce, an experienced gardener or a local nursery can provide answers and help you with caring for your lamb’s lettuce plants. Growing this vegetable can be a rewarding experience, and with the right conditions and proper care, you can enjoy fresh salads right from your own garden.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.