Lettuce is a great way to begin this year’s garden. There are several different varieties
to choose from.
First, there is common lettuce and Romaine lettuce. Then we have this
category broken down even further into Head Lettuce (sold in supermarkets under
the name of Iceberg, Great Lakes, Imperial, Ithaca, or Oswego). It is tightly compressed
and the center ball is pale green.
Loose-leaf lettuce forms a rosette of tender green leaves. Stores sell it as Oakleaf,
Ruby (because the leaves are tinged with red), or Salad Bowl.
Butterhead lettuce has a softly compressed head with green outer leaves and pale green
to yellow inner leaves. It falls under the market names of Buttercrunch, Dark Green
Boston, Tender-Crisp, Deer Tongue, and Summer Bibb.
Head lettuce – 15 foot row yields about 15 heads of lettuce
Loose-leaf lettuce – 15 foot row yields about 2-1/2 lbs. of produce
Butterhead lettuce – 15 foot row yields about 15 heads
Romaine lettuce forms a vase shape and has a tightly compressed head. It stands about
10 inches tall and has a more piquant flavor than the other varieties.
Lettuce should be planted where it will get full sun in Spring and Fall, but partial
shade during the hottest part of the Summer season.
Plant your lettuce seeds when night-time temperatures are no longer likely to fall
below 25 degrees.
Sow the seeds sparingly about 1/2” deep and thin the plants.
The pulled plants are good to eat so don’t just toss them.
Keep the soil moist but do not wet the foliage any more than necessary.
Head lettuce matures in about 10-11 weeks after the seeds are sown.
Loose lettuce matures in 6-7 weeks, Butterhead is ready in about 9-10 weeks,
and Romaine comes to full maturity in about 11-12 weeks.
If you don’t use up all your lettuce seeds, don’t throw them away. Unused seeds
will keep for about 6 years.
So, if you are a salad lover, than growing your own lettuce is just the thing for