Start some lettuce seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Provide the seedlings with plenty of sunlight or keep them under artificial lighting until ready to move into the garden. Transplant the seedlings as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. If a hard freeze threatens, protect the seedlings with a cloche or row cover. Reserve a number of lettuce seedlings to fill empty spaces in the garden as the season progresses.
To sow lettuce directly in the garden, simply plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, tamp them down, and water.