Lettuce is over the iceberg range of diner dinner salads. In reality, even iceberg lettuce (also known as crisphead) is no longer that recognizable. The family is huge and rapidly growing. Lettuce itself is still a standard for salads, but it may also be added to sandwiches, used as a wrapping for a filling or cooked. (Look for darker leaves to get the most nutrition from the leaves) And despite its incidence in summertime salads, it is an actual cool-season harvest.
Lettuces are generally divided into four distinct kinds:
Leaf lettuces are easy to grow and quick to mature; you might have greens as early as a month after planting. They’re also pretty in the garden, with leaves varying in color from bronze to red to dark green. Butterhead lettuces are little and cream coloured, with a delicate flavor. Romaine or cos lettuce forms are vertical instead of round and dispersing. Crisphead lettuces are the recognizable iceberg types and Batavian lettuces, which resemble a mix of iceberg and leaf lettuces. They withstand heat the very best, but iceberg types specifically can bolt quickly.Within all these groups, there are different rates of maturity and degrees of heat tolerance. Start looking for lettuces that will do well in your climate.
When to plant: For spring crops, sow seeds set out seedlings in early spring. (See thinning recommendations for spacing.) Continue to sow or transplant each couple of weeks so you’ll have a constant crop, remembering that unless the garden is shaded, temperatures above about 75 degrees will lead to lettuce plants to bolt (flower and set seed). Start up again in late summer or fall, when the soil temperature has cooled. In cold-winter climates, plan your crop so you’ll have lettuce until the first frost. In mild-winter climates, you can continue to sow or transplant through the winter.
Days to maturity: 30 to 90
Light requirement: Sun to partial shade; to prevent it from bolting ancient, plant in which other plants can color it.
Water necessity: Provide regular, consistent water; the dirt should stay moist.
Batavian: Cherokee, Nevada, SierraButterhead: Bibb, Buttercrunch, Deer’ s Tongue, Marvel of Four Seasons, Rouge d’Hiver, Sangria, Tom Thumb, Winter MarvelCos: Blushed Butter Cos, Crisp Mint, Little Gem (a rainbow variety), Parris Island, Parris WhiteCrisphead: Great Lakes, Red Iceberg, Reine de Glace, SummertimeLeaf: Australian Yellow, Black Seeded Simpson, Lolla Rossa, Oak Leaf, Red Sails, Red Salad Bowl, Salad Bowl
Planting and maintenance: Sow seeds in rows about 1/8 into 1/4 inch heavy or simply by broadcasting; cover lightly with soil. Thin leaf lettuces to about 1/4 to 3/4 of a foot apart. Butterhead and romaine lettuces should be 6 to 8 inches apart. Crispheads want the most space; let at least a foot.
Fertilize the soil once you plant and around a month and a half afterwards. Maintain the soil consistently moist and weed carefully around the plants. Pests and diseases are usually not a issue, but a number of the typical suspects aphids, leaf miners, snails, mildew and wilt — along with birds, deer and rabbits may make inroads on your harvest.
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Harvest: Though you usually view heads of lettuce for sale in grocery stores and in the markets, you can harvest individual leaves of leaf, romaine and Batavian lettuces. In reality, a common way is to sow a mix of those seeds, enable them to grow, then cut leaves about 1/2 inch above the crown. They’ll quickly regenerate, and you’ll have an ongoing source for lettuce. It is also possible to consume the thinnings and young leaves of butterhead and iceberg lettuce, then wait until the entire head forms and harvest the entire plant.
The way to grow arugula and other salad greens