The many different categories of lettuces are roughly classified by their leaf shape, configuration, and how much of a head they form.That means they can all be crossed, which results in blending between types, and you will sometimes find varieties don't fit perfectly into only one category."Boston" lettuce is a subtype of butterhead, with varieties that have a lighter green color, softer and smooth textured leaves, and nice big heads.Oakleaf: These varieties form attractive, relatively dense, rosette-like heads of curly, crisp leaves that are characteristically deeply lobed and similar in shape to those of oak trees.Essentially any lettuce variety can be grown as a "baby leaf" by planting the seed at high density and harvesting the leaves very young.Baby leaf varieties primarily include romaine, summer crisp, and oakleaf types.Johnny's also carries several lettuce mixes, comprised of multiple varieties that mature at similar rates.Some growers add herbs, edible flowers, baby brassica greens, baby specialty greens, sprouts or shoots to baby-leaf lettuces to create signature salad mixes; for more information, view our Salad Mix Production Guide.Salanova is the industry standard one-cut type for baby-leaf production, and it excels in a variety of cultural settings, from the field to winter tunnels or as a hydroponic lettuce.It is grown to full-head size, but when cut at the plant base, the individual leaves separate, creating a final product similar to baby leaf lettuce.It is more than 40% higher yielding, has better flavor and texture, and double the shelf life, compared to traditional baby leaf lettuce.Rubygo and Verigo are square-leaf types that produce a high count of uniform, attractively-edged, strong but flexible leaves at maturity.Its deeply incised, uniform baby leaflets combine an appealing iceberg texture with complex flavor. .
15 of the Best Lettuce Varieties to Grow for Backyard Gardeners
In addition, this vegetable isn’t placing high on people’s “favourite vegetables” lists.We have 10 great varieties ranging from iceberg to loose leaf, for every purpose and preference out there.This tolerance makes it ideal for warmer climates.It prefers well-drained soil, and does well with lower water levels.Being so compact, it’s extremely popular for small spaces, like container and window box gardens.Tom Thumb is a type of Butterhead lettuce, which has a characteristic round shape and pliant leaves.It has a low maturity rate of about 55 days, and is very easy to grow both indoors and outdoors.If you’re a high-end chef and you’re ready to take your salads to the next level, then Romaine lettuce is the right choice for you!These attributes make the Parris Island lettuce a favorite: its long leaves have an amazing flavor and memorable texture.Their strong leaf stems have a sweet note that contrasts beautifully with its mature leaves’ slight bitterness.As an added bonus, the Parris Island variety has a low maturity rate, averaging out to about only 50 days.Another member of the Summer Crisp family, Coastline lettuce is easily identifiable by its long, firm stem and light green frilled leaves.This lettuce variety features a combination of all lettuce varieties’ best qualities.It has Iceberg lettuce’s crunch in its stem, Summer Crisp’s texture, and loose-leaf lettuce’s easy growing nature.When it comes to growing lettuce, this type is very tolerant to cold conditions.This adds extra punch to your salad, and allows you to feel full and satisfied after eating it.Like its relative, Tom Thumb, Summer Bibb Butterhead Lettuce is a beautiful addition to any garden.It also requires at least 18 inches of area around each individual plant.Crispono’s pale inner leaves gives this variety a mild and slightly sweet taste, making it the quintessential Iceberg variety to grow.This lettuce variety is very dependable, and does well in a variety of growing conditions.Corn Salad Mache Lettuce.Then look no further than Corn Salad (also known as “Mache”).Although you can harvest it leaf by leaf, most prefer to do so once the head has fully matured.Corn salad is extremely cold resistant, which will allow you to leave your lettuce ball to mature well into autumn.Frisee endive lettuce is well known by gardeners, as it’s able to grow well in small, high places.In fact, its curly, light green leaves make this plant as beautiful as it is delicious.You can choose to eat Frisee either as a baby leafy green, or as a full-grown salad base.Baby leaves can be harvested after 35 days.Should you choose to let it mature, you can harvest a whole head after 65 days.Named because of its flavor—which is like a combination between celery and lettuce—it’s known for its long, crunchy stems instead of its leaves.That would be a shame, since Lau’s pointed leaf lettuce’s light green, tall, slender leaves are wonderful additions to any garden.It has a quick, 30-day maturity rate, and can be picked and eaten as individual leaves.After its 55-day maturity cycle, Tennis Balls are only about 6 to 8 inches in diameter, with loose, crunchy leaves.Their small stature allows them to grow perfectly in containers and they require very little care, allowing you to focus on other vegetables in your garden.Lettuce is one of the best vegetables for new gardeners. .
29 of the Best Lettuce Varieties For Your Garden
Let’s start off with a type of L. sativa called crisphead, also known as head or heading lettuce.This green cultivar is heat resistant, bolt resistant, and is mature and ready to harvest in 80-90 days.‘Crisphead Great Lakes’ is available in seed packets of various sizes at True Leaf Market.Maturing in 75-85 days, ‘Hanson Improved’ thrives in full sun and partial shade.This heirloom variety originates from Maryland, where it was first grown by the Hanson family.Find seeds for ‘Hanson Improved’ in packets of various sizes from True Leaf Market.Another green variety, ‘Igloo,’ with its lightly serrated leaves, is quick to mature in only 70 days.‘Igloo’ has a mild flavor, a crisp crunch, and a mature head size of 8-12 inches.Slow to bolt and heat-resistant, ‘Webbs Wonderful’ matures in 72 days.The broad, tender leaves of butterheads form a loose head, making it easy to harvest leaves as needed in the garden, cut-and-come-again style.With its abundance of soft green leaves and a tender pale center, this variety matures in 55-60 days, and outer leaves can be harvested earlier in a cut-and-come-again style.The 8- to 10-inch lightly ruffled leaves form a rosette shape, and are tender and delicate with a mild flavor.Add some color to your salad with ‘Bronze Mignonette.’ With its soft green leaves tinted with bronze, this heirloom variety was first introduced by the Iowa Seed Company in 1896.Slow to bolt, this heat-tolerant cultivar matures in 65-70 days, with 8- to 10-inch heads and crisp, slightly crumpled leaves.Tender, crisp, and delicious, award-winning ‘Buttercrunch’ has rich green leaves that are often tinged with red, which form a rosette shape around a loose head.Maturing in 65 days, with 6- to 8-inch heads, you can harvest outer leaves early as a cut-and-come-again crop, should you wish to.Find seeds for ‘Buttercrunch’ in a variety of packet sizes from Eden Brothers or read more about growing it here.Maturing in 65-75 days, you can harvest 8 to 10-inch heads with a sweet flavor and crisp, yet delicate texture.You can buy packets of 500 ‘Dynamite’ seeds from Burpee.Leaves range in color from bronze to red and pale green, and form an attractive rosette shape.Add ‘Four Seasons’ to your garden now with packets of 500 seeds available at Burpee.With a crisp but tender texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor, mature ‘Tom Thumb’ heads are the perfect size to make a delicious side salad for two people.The loose, rounded heads mature to be 10-12 inches in diameter, and the outer leaves can be harvested earlier in the season as a cut-and-come-again crop.You can find packets of 1,300 seeds available at Burpee.In general, romaine cultivars are among the most heat tolerant lettuce varieties.Romaine can be found in varieties that are green, red, bronze, or speckled.It’s fairly easy to find romaine in the supermarket – but usually only the green variety.With pale green hearts and burgundy outer leaves, ‘Cimmaron’ is an heirloom variety that dates back to the 1700s.Also known as ‘Red Romaine,’ it has a mild, sweet flavor and crunchy texture.Maturing in just 60 days with 10- to 12-inch-long leaves, this variety looks as good in the garden as it does on the plate!Easy to grow and “EZ” to serve, this green variety was introduced by Burpee in 2008.‘EZ Serve’ can be grown in full sun or partial shade, and the crunchy stems and crisp leaves have a mild flavor.You can find packets of 500 seeds available at Burpee.You’ll find packets of 500 ‘Forellenschluss’ seeds available at Burpee.Smaller than some of the other romaine lettuces, each mature head is the perfect size to make a Caesar salad for two people.Growing to a mature height of 8-12 inches in 70 days, the leaves have a sweet flavor.You can find packets of 700 seeds available at Burpee.With its sweet, nutty flavor and diminutive size, ‘Little Gem’ is the perfect variety for the smaller garden.However it is officially classified, it is like a cross between a butterhead lettuce and a romaine.Crisp and flavorful, ‘Little Gem’ grows happily in full sun or partial shade, and prefers cool weather.You can harvest mature 12-inch leaves in 65-70 days, or harvest early for baby greens.The 10-inch leaves have a crisp texture and sweet flavor.The giant leaves mature in 70 days, although you can harvest early for smaller greens.Add ‘Vivian’ to your garden today with packets of 300 seeds, available at Burpee.Varieties of this type of lettuce come in shades of yellow, green, red, bronze, and burgundy.‘Deer Tongue,’ one of my favorite cultivars, is an heirloom variety with arrowhead-shaped leaves that are delicate and delicious.With a crisp, juicy texture, and a mild, slightly sweet flavor, this early-maturing variety prefers cool weather conditions, although it is somewhat heat tolerant, and slow to bolt.If you want to add ‘Grand Rapids’ to your garden, seeds are available in a variety of packet sizes at Eden Brothers.Maturing in just 45 days, this variety is heat resistant and slow to bolt.You can find packets of 1,000 seeds available at Burpee.With a nutty, mildly bitter flavor, ‘Lollo Rosso’ matures in 55-60 days with 6- to 8-inch loose-leaf heads.In spite of its name, ‘Prizehead’ is a loose leaf variety, with upright ruffled leaves that are pale green with dark burgundy edges.First brought to the market by W. A. Burpee and Company in 1881, this slow-to-bolt variety matures in 40-50 days.With a crunchy texture and sweet flavor, ‘Prizehead’ will add color to your garden and your plate.With large, crumpled leaves that are green at the base and give way to deep red edges, ‘Red Sails’ has a soft texture, and a sweet, mild flavor.One of the most intensely colored lettuce cultivars available, ‘Ruby’ is an heirloom variety with a deep burgundy color and ruffled leaves.Like other loose leaf types, oak leaf lettuces tend to be heat tolerant and bolt resistant.Light green with bronze edging, this heirloom variety is heat tolerant and will provide a bountiful harvest to add texture and color to your salads.You can find ‘Bronze Guard’ in seed packets of various sizes from True Leaf Market.Introduced in 1771 by the French seed company Vilmorin-Andrieux, ‘Oakleaf’ has green, lobed leaves with a delicate, tender texture and sweet, mild flavor.Maturing in just 40 days, ‘Oakleaf’ is cold tolerant and heat resistant, providing a bountiful harvest throughout the growing season.With so many textures, flavors, and colors to choose from, lettuce makes a wonderful addition to your kitchen garden that will provide you with bountiful harvests of nutritious greens.Product photos via Burpee, David’s Garden Seeds, Eden Brothers, and True Leaf Market.
Growing Lettuce: A Guide to Planting & Harvesting Lettuce
As the foundation of your salad and your garden, lettuce is an ideal garden vegetable.You can tuck it into small areas, it grows easily and it loves cool weather.How to Grow Lettuce.When to Plant Lettuce.You can begin planting leaf, romaine and butterhead lettuce as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring.Depending on the variety, lettuce germinates in temperatures between 40 to 85 degrees F. If you plant lettuce in successive plantings, with 10 to 14 days in between, you’ll have an extended harvest.Where to Plant Lettuce.How to Plant Lettuce.Romaine and butterhead lettuce seedlings require 6 to 8 inches between each plant.Head lettuce is usually grown from seeds started indoors during warm weather for a fall garden.In fact, you want to encourage leaf growth over rooting.Most lettuce can be harvested between 30 to 70 days after planting.Growing Green and Red Leaf Lettuce.You can grow leaf lettuce in rows for nice bundles of loose leaf lettuce, or you can sow it thickly in a garden bed or container for harvest as young, tender lettuce.By harvesting leaf lettuce through trimming it a few inches above the soil, you can get two to three harvests from one planting.Growing Romaine Lettuce.Reaching up to 20 inches tall, most romaine lettuces take 60 to 80 days to harvest.Growing red romaine lettuce requires the same garden techniques as growing green varieties.Growing Head Lettuce.For the best results, plant head lettuce in your fall garden.Butterhead lettuce varieties produce tightly folded heads of tender lettuce leaves.Other types of lettuce require 6 to 8 weeks to reach full harvest size.
How to Grow Your Own Lettuce
It’s funny that big strapping pumpkins and acorn squash are fragile little babies and something as delicate as lettuce is considered hardy.Once you taste fresh picked, it will be hard for you to go back to buying the stuff in the grocery stores.Loose leaf lettuce, which refers to varieties that don’t form any type of head, is considered the easiest to grow.Leaf lettuce grows up a single stalk and the outer leaves are harvested with scissors or a sharp knife, 1-2 inches above the ground.Loose leaf is the least prone to bolt (go to seed) in hot weather and also has the highest nutritional value.Loose leaf varies in color from red to green, with the texture either curly or ruffled.Of the head-forming lettuces, butterhead is considered to be a loose-heading type because the leaves don’t form tight, hard heads, like iceberg.When to harvest depends largely on variety as well, as quick maturing types can be ready to pick in as little as 35 days.Organic Butterhead Seeds As a first go, head over to True Leaf Market and give buttercrunch a try.Romaine (or cos) grows straight up out of a tight central bunch, and forms an elongated head.Again, heat tolerance and maturity rate vary between cultivars, but to get started check out ‘Paris Island’ cos, which is disease resistant and sweet to taste.‘Parris Island’ Seeds To harvest, wait until the leaves in the center grow together and form an obvious elongated head.Wrap loosely in plastic and store in the refrigerator for a few days if you need to, or harvest and enjoy immediately.Alternatively, it’s alright to wash, dry, wrap loosely in paper towels, and place in an open zip-top bag or a bowl in the refrigerator.They typically take a long time to mature, usually around 80 days, and are less heat tolerant than other types.‘Webbs Wonderful’ Seeds If it weren’t for the much maligned iceberg, many of us who grew up in the city and continued to live there until the “foodie” revolution took off in the early 2000s would never have known a salad.With most of the tender crops grown in the home garden, you start seeds indoors while you wait for the ground to warm up.So, you’ll want to sow seeds directly into the ground in the early spring, as soon as the soil is thawed and workable.To start seeds indoors, fill a flat with a rich humus soil that has excellent drainage.Lettuce, especially loose leaf and quick maturing varieties, is a great crop to sow in succession for a more continuous harvest.Plant a new batch every 10-14 days so you will have plenty to harvest as long as the season stays cool.The secret for rapid growth is frequent, light watering and giving each plant sufficient room.When it’s time to transplant the seedlings, dig a small hole with your trowel and work in a healthy dose of rich compost.Using a pencil or a pointy stick, lift the seedling from the flat, taking as much of the planting mix with it as you can.As the heat-loving crops grow taller, they’ll provide shade and hopefully extend the harvest of your lettuce.The larvae of a number of pests are considered leaf miners and they eat visible, tunnel-like paths out of the leaves.Leafhoppers pierce the plant, suck out the goods, and create a sort of white, stippling effect in the process.Making your own organic pesticide could be a solution, as is encouraging the proliferation of beneficial insects that hunt and eat these little suckers.Another option to minimize pest damage is to separate lettuce plantings in different beds or areas of your garden.And, since the greens are the focus, you can actually grow lettuce under the protection of a row cover to keep unwanted pests to the ultimate minimum.You can find more information in our related guide, “How to Identify and Control Common Lettuce Pests.”.Again, healthy, well-draining soil with plenty of room between plants to allow for air circulation is the best prevention against moisture-related diseases.Another common affliction is tip burn, which is caused by a change in moisture and often related to a calcium deficiency.If the edges of the leaves turn brown and seem to “die back,” you’re probably facing tip burn.Just the leaves, with an excellent vinaigrette dressing, and maybe a few added garden goodies like radish slices or fresh herbs. .
Finding the Best Spot for Your Farmstand
You will want to find a level area that gets as much direct sunlight as possible, at least 6 hours a day, and is near a water and power source.It is helpful to find a space where you can access every side of the Farmstand so you can easily maintain and harvest plants.If it is slanted then water will not flow to the elevated side causing seedlings planted there to wilt and die.A hose (or a sink or bathtub if you are growing indoors) will also be helpful during quarterly resets.Its reservoir holds 20.5 gallons and plants don’t use as much water indoors so it will only take a few trips each week to fill it back up.If you aren’t sure if a spot will be a good fit for the Farmstand, periodically check it or take a photo throughout the day to see how much light it gets.Make sure that you use our Glow Rings since the ambient light in a room is not strong enough to power healthy plant growth.This will result in plants that are outstretched and have developed non-compact growth as they reach out in search of a sunnier area.Place your Farmstand close to walking paths so you can monitor your plants as they grow and easily bring them into the kitchen when they are ready! .
Space lettuce plants 6 to 18 inches apart (depending on the variety) in an area that gets an abundance of sun and has fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0.Well-hydrated lettuce will bear tender leaves, so keep moisture levels consistent by watering whenever the top inch of soil becomes dry.Prevent weeds and make your watering efforts last longer by applying a thick layer of mulch made from finely ground leaves or bark.In fact, a spring crop often lasts longer if shaded from the afternoon sun as the season warms. .
How to Grow Lettuce
Common Name Lettuce, garden lettuce Botanical Name Lactuca sativa Family Asteraceae Plant Type Annual, vegetable Size 6–12 in.How to Plant Lettuce.When to Plant.Soil.Dry soil also can cause the leaves to become sun-scorched.It’s best to water regularly throughout the week anytime the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch versus doing one weekly deep watering.Some lettuce varieties can tolerate a light frost but not a freeze.Humidity typically isn't an issue for lettuce as long as adequate soil moisture is maintained and there's air flow around the plants.Both lettuce and cabbage varieties grow in heads with layers of leaves.Cabbage also typically has a stronger flavor while lettuce is very mild.You can harvest cut-and-come-again lettuce types as soon as the outer leaves reach about 6 inches long.If you are growing head lettuce, be sure to harvest before the head starts to elongate.How to Grow Lettuce in Pots.Make sure to check the space requirements for your particular lettuce variety.The only pruning maintenance lettuce needs is harvesting its mature leaves.Cut off the bottom of the lettuce, leaving only about an inch of leaves on the base.Change the water every couple of days.Harvest the leaves in two weeks.How to Grow Lettuce From Seed.Whether you’re planting in containers or the ground, make sure the seeds are only lightly covered in soil.Common Pests and Plant Diseases.How long does it take to grow lettuce?Most lettuce varieties will be ready for harvesting in five to eight weeks after planting. .
How to Grow in Extremely Hot Weather
For some parts of the country, however, extremely hot weather (90F+) can make growing produce a bit difficult.You can mitigate wilting by increasing the timer's watering cycle to run continuously during the hottest parts of the day.This also creates a cooling effect that lowers the temperature of the plants' roots, further relieving them from the heat.In very hot weather, you should check your water reservoir and top if off at least twice a week to make sure it doesn't run dry.As a result, it goes to flower and seed before reaching ideal harvest size, which can negatively affect the flavor and texture.If you notice a plant is starting to bolt, remove it immediately from the Farmstand so it can still be used before its flavor and texture change.Growing produce in hot weather brings a few new issues to look out for but they can be reduced by keeping the temperature of your water cool and providing artificial shade for your Farmstand.Place your new arrivals outside for a day or two in partial sun, sprinkling with water so they don’t dry out. .