A number of different types of lettuce have been developed through selective breeding and these include small cutting lettuce, small open headed lettuce of various types, soft leafed butter head lettuce, ice-berg varieties and coss/romain varieties.
Lettuce prefers full sun for autumn to spring plantings, and loose, fertile soil. In the summer heat, partial or afternoon shade is ideal and most varieties are tolerant of cold weather. In moderate climates, lettuce can be grown throughout the year, but some varieties are better suited to summer and others to winter growing. Can be started under glass in the winter, or sown directly into the garden in rows 30cm apart once the weather warms up. Start transplants 6 weeks before setting out with 2-3 seeds per plastic cell, cover lightly with soil (0.3cm), and thin to one plant. For cutting lettuce, broadcast seed (ideally 2.5cm spacing) on a smooth, well-prepared bed and rake in or cover with soil, tamp down and water well. Harvest when plants are about 10-15cm tall.
Heading chicory/radicchio and endive do best when they mature in the cool weather of late autumn to early spring, but cutting varieties can be grown at any time of year. Broadcast sow cutting varieties aiming for a seed every 2cm or so, cover lightly and water. Larger varieties can be started in a seed bed 5-6 week prior to planting out, or direct sow and thin to one plant every 20 - 30cm. Note that heading radicchio tends to grow a mass of loose leaves, but after some time a solid head will develop.