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Spring-sown lettuce will go to large sizes, remaining sweet and tender without irrigation if spaced 1 foot apart in a single row with 2 feet of elbow room on each side. Lettuce cut after mid-June usually gets bitter without regular, heavy irrigation. I reserve my well-watered raised bed for this summer salad crop. Those very short of water can start fall/winter lettuce in a shaded, irrigated nursery bed mid-August through mid-September and transplant it out after the fall rains return. Here is one situation in which accelerating growth with cloches or cold frames would be very helpful.

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