- 1). Till the soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches as soon as it can be worked in the spring. Remove roots, rocks and other debris from the soil and rake the area smooth.
- 2). Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of well-rotted manure or compost over the gardening area. Work the organic matter into the top 6 inches of the soil with a garden tiller or hand tools.
- 3). Apply 5-10-10 or 10-10-10 fertilizer, following the application rate on the container. Work the fertilizer into the soil to prevent damage from contact with seeds or young roots.
- 4). Plant romaine lettuce seeds to a depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch, spaced 2 inches apart. Cover the seeds lightly with soil. Pat the soil down over the seeds to secure them and to remove air pockets.
- 5). Water with the spray attachment to your hose to moisten the soil to a depth of 1 inch. The mist setting or other light spray is preferred as forceful watering may dislodge the seeds.
- 6). Cover with burlap to conserve moisture until the seeds germinate in seven to 10 days. Remove the burlap as soon as the first seeds germinate.
- 7). Thin lettuce seedlings to stand 6 to 8 inches apart in rows spaced 12 inches apart, when they are 4 inches tall. Clip the weakest seedlings at the soil level to prevent disrupting the roots of neighboring plants. Use the thinned seedlings in salads.
- 8). Mulch with organic mulch, such as grass clippings, to conserve moisture, suppress weeds and keep the soil cool.
- 9). Water when soil feels dry 1 inch below the surface.
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