When is the Best Time to Plant Lettuce in California?

When is the Best Time to Plant Lettuce in California?

“When generally is the best month to start lettuce planting [in California]?” Question from Rebekah of Clovis, California

Answer: Lettuce is a cool-season crop, which means that it thrives in cool weather and can even take a light frost but not hard freezes. When the weather becomes hot, most lettuce varieties quickly become bitter-tasting and set seed (bolt).

Based on the Clovis climate summary, your weather remains cool enough for lettuce from October through to April or May. Within this time, you should be able to grow more than one crop. Just be sure to grow it in fertile soil and keep the beds well irrigated during dry weather. We recommend drip irrigation for dry California climates. (Click here to learn about adding drip irrigation to raised beds.)  If you anticipate an unexpected frost, cover your plants with frost cloth.

Clovis, California Climate Summary

I encourage you to watch the following video about the 10 best lettuce varieties and how to grow them from seed.


Happy lettuce growing,

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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