So next year I don't think I will worry about starting lettuce indoors. The lettuce that was started in pots under row cover is just as big if not bigger than all of the transplants. Not only that, it is less leggy. So next year I think all the greens will be started outside. I do realize that soil temperature may have had something to do with this phenomenon. The seeds were all planted in pots, which warm up much more quickly than the beds do. Since I want to be able to move my lettuce to the shade of the alley once the June sun hits, this shouldn't be a problem though. More like an opportunity to keep the tender leaves from frying in the hot sun.
Just as a comparison, here is the lettuce started inside... In the first picture with bok choi in front, also started inside, but I don't have anything to compare it to. In the second picture the lettuce is sharing a bed with the shelling peas.
Here is the lettuce direct sown...
I also had to transplant a few, as the pots were getting crowed. Now, around the edges of the flower pots, there colorful Swiss chard plants and lovely green and red lettuce. These plants should grow fairly quickly- when it dries off that is- and will fill in the edges of the pots until the flowers fill in enough so they don't look bare. This also has the advantage when I do it with the vegetable plants that the taller, dense foliage veggies provide shade to the tender greens, and the greens fill in the empty soil to help keep down the weeds. I get the most out of my garden and also manage to make less work for myself. Can't beat that!