Agriculture: Lettuce Pest Management Guidelines


This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of lettuce in the Central Valley, Central Coast, and desert areas (Imperial and Coachella Valleys).

About Preplant

What should you be doing during this time?

Select your field.

  • Consider soil type, cropping and pest history, plantback restrictions from previous crop, and rotational plan for the field.
  • Take a soil sample for nutrient, salinity, and pH analysis to determine field suitability and soil nutrient management.
  • Sample soil for nematodes (Central Valley and desert) and Verticillium (coast).

Survey weeds.

  • Keep records (PDF), noting the presence of problematic weeds.

Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Clean equipment and tractors to prevent the spread of soilborne diseases before they enter the field.

Prepare the field (in all growing areas):

  • Apply fertilizer (PDF) based on soil test results.
  • Determine bed size and list (prepare) fall beds.
  • Choose an irrigation system depending on the region.
  • Choose planting configuration (number of seed lines per bed).

In Central Valley and desert areas only:

  • In blocks that will be planted late, plant cover crops appropriate to the planting schedule.
  • In the low desert area, consider the use of solarization in June, July, or August for control of weeds, pathogens, and nematodes.

Preirrigate and cultivate to germinate and destroy the initial flush of weed seedlings.

In coastal organic fields, consider establishing insectary plantings to increase numbers of aphid natural enemies.

Seed selection and treatment:

  • Select an appropriate cultivar based on time of year and disease resistance.
  • Consider using primed seed (soaked in water before planting) in areas where ambient temperatures exceed 90°F at planting.
Text Updated: 04/17