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How to sow and grow Bibb lettuce

This small head lettuce is ideal for your Planty Garden. It grows compactly so you can fit 4 in a single square patch. Each one can serve 1 to 2 people. The light green, tender leaves are a real treat.
Mini-kropsla in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Bibb lettuce

What is Bibb lettuce?

Bibb lettuce is a compact version of butterhead lettuce. So, you can sow more plants closer together.

The plants form beautiful, light green heads that - even when fully grown - fit perfectly in 30x30 cm so you get a perfect lettuce patch.

The leaves are tender and a little less firm than the head lettuce you find in the stores. Ideally, you harvest them just before eating. Fresh is best 🙂

What's in Bibb lettuce?

Head lettuce isn't the healthiest of all the vegetables out there. But every little bit helps 😉

Bibb lettuce contains a fair amount of vitamin A, as well as some B11 and C. The iron and potassium in it are good for you too.
Vitamines en mineralen in de mini-kropsla van de Makkelijke Moestuin
Bibb lettuce grows beautifully

More about our Bibb lettuce

This compact lettuce variety is perfect for your Planty Garden. You can make salads that serve 1-2 people from each head. And kids love its mild taste.

  • Species name: Yellow Gotte
  • Family: leaf
  • Plants per square patch: 4
  • Height: 15 to 20 cm
  • Sowing time: March - May and August - September
  • Sowing depth: 0.5 to 1 cm
  • Germination: 5°C and 18°C in 2 to 14 days
  • Time to harvest: after 6-8 weeks
  • Sunlight: can grow in sun or shade

Want to buy Bibb lettuce seeds? We sell the bags separately or you can also find the seeds in this seed pack:

What do you need to grow your own Bibb lettuce?

This is it:
  • a 30x30 cm patch with airy, nutrient-rich soil mix
  • Bibb lettuce seeds
  • a place with at least 4 hours of sunlight a day

In other words, an MM-Mini, or a square patch in one of our garden boxes, filled with MM-Mix.

Growing your own Bibb lettuce in this perfect soil mix is super easy. If you use poor-quality (potting) soil, it's much harder and the results will be disappointing. So just go for the best.
Mini kropsla in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Still growing: medium-sized Bibb lettuce

How do you sow and grow Bibb lettuce?

This lettuce is included in the free Planty Gardening app. Use it, and you'll get step-by-step guidance from seed to harvest.

Each vegetable goes through a number of stages - we call them levels. The app tells you exactly what to do at each level and checks in when your plants are ready for the next.

So you don't need to know how to grow lettuce before you start: the app takes you through every step.

But if you'd like to read more about those steps, here's what the process looks like:
Voeg eventueel wat Makkelijke Moestuin voeding toe voordat je in een vak zaait

Level 1: Sowing Bibb lettuce

Choose a square patch at the front of your garden box. Loosen up the moist MM-Mix and sow like this:
  • poke 4 holes in the patch (no deeper than 1 cm)
  • put 2 to 3 seeds in each hole
  • carefully cover up the holes with soil mix

After about a week, you'll see something green come up. It depends a bit on the weather.
Zaailingen van mini-kropsla in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Bibb lettuce seedlings

Level 2: Bibb lettuce seedlings

As soon as you see the first seedlings, you know things are going well. They probably won't all come up at once, but give it another week.

Then it's time for the next level.

Level 3: Thinning Bibb lettuce seedlings

When several seedlings come up in each spot that you sowed, choose the best ones and remove the rest: that's called thinning out. It might sound harsh, but it's necessary. The remaining plants need enough room to grow. You'll be glad you did it.

Here's how: take a pair of scissors, leave the biggest and prettiest seedling per hole, and cut off the others at the soil mix. You'll end up with 4 plants.

If you see places where nothing came up, sow a few more seeds.

And keep an eye out for snails: they love these seedlings.
Kleine mini-kropsla plantjes in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Small Bibb lettuce plants

Level 4: Caring for your Bibb lettuce plants

After a week or 2, your seedlings will become small plants. You hardly need to do anything: if the weather's dry, give them some water and remove the odd dead or yellow leaf.

Again: keep an eye out for snails, the rest is easy 🙂

Level 5: Harvesting

This level starts 7 to 8 weeks after sowing: the plants are ready for the first harvest.

You can harvest in 2 ways.

Option 1:
Cut or pick the individual leaves. As long as you leave the heart of the little plants, new leaves will appear. This way you can keep picking for a few weeks.

Option 2:
Harvest whole heads. Cut off 1 or 2 heads along straight across the soil mix. They'll be a bit small at first but very tasty.

Allow the heads that remain to grow. You'll harvest them in the coming weeks.
In het vak van de Makkelijke Moestuin staan nog 2 kropjes mini-kropsla
Let the remaining heads keep growing

What do you use Bibb lettuce for?

Bibb lettuce makes for a delicious, fresh salad. But the leaves are also very tasty in green smoothies or on a healthy sandwich.

Harvest the young leaves just before use: they're tender and won't keep as well as older leaves will.

Flowering coriander

Keep harvesting the Bibb lettuce until the plants shoot up from the middle. This means that they'll start to flower soon. If you let it grow, you'll get a stem with flowers.

That upward growth means it's time to harvest right away. The leaves won't be as tasty raw but are still good throwing in with mashed potatoes or a stir fry.

The last level: empty your Bibb lettuce patch and get it ready for something new.
In bloei schietende mini-kropsla in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Bibb lettuce starting to bolt

So: how about growing your own Bibb lettuce?

It's a tasty and easy vegetable to grow, and the lettuce heads look ridiculously cute.

Plus: our materials and app make it practically impossible to fail 🙂

Buy your Bibb lettuce seeds here or get started with a complete starter kit:

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