Can you call that a salad without Lettuce? Lettuce is the base for many(most) salads served in the U.S. Surly with so many varieties and different tasting lettuce varieties you can find one that is to your liking.
Lettuce is fast growing and quickly reaches maturity. It is a cool season plant best grown in the spring and fall of the year in most of the U.S. With so many loose leaf and head varieties your most difficult decision is which varieties to plant.
First plant the more cold tolerant lettuce varieties in the cool early spring months, then sow the heat tolerant varieties in late spring to spread out your lettuce harvest as long as possible. Stage plant lettuce, planting pots and beds every 7 to 10 days.
Lettuce benefits from a rich well drained soil.
Fertilize lettuce wit a nigh nitrogen based fertilizer, something like 10-5-5.
My lettuce seed didn’t germinate! Lettuce seed require exposure to sun light to germinate. Sprinkle seeds on top of the soil, and lightly cover or scratch them into the bed just below the surface of the soil. It is helpful to cover pots and beds with clear plastic to prevent your soil from drying out before your lettuce seed germinate.
Hint For best performance, Lettuce must be kept moist, Not Wet, throughout its growing season.
As lettuce seedlings mature, they need to be thinned. When they are 2 or 3 inches tall, gently pull out the largest plants. Or better yet cut at ground level. Use these seedlings in your salad, being small and tender they are a wonderful addition to your salads. Leave 4 to 8 inches between the remaining plants so they have room to grow into mature plants.
Some proven and reliable Lettuce varieties are listed for your consideration.
Arctic King (green, semiheading)
Brune d’Hiver (green, semiheading)
Rouge d’Hiver (red, romaine type)
Winter Marvel (green, semiheading)
Buttercrunch (green, semiheading)
Four Seasons (red and green, semiheading)
Lolla Rossa (red, leaf lettuce)
Royal Oakleaf (green, leaf lettuce)
Tom Thumb (green, semiheading)
Black Seeded Simpson (green, leaf lettuce)
Craquerelle du Midi (green, romaine type)
Red Riding Hood (red, semiheading)
Two Star (green, leaf lettuce)
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