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Lettuce at a Glance

Try these types of lettuce in your next garden.

April/May 2008

By Barbara Pleasant

Growing lettuce is easy when the soil is cool and kept constantly moist. Try these helpful tips and enjoy growing lettuce in your next garden. Learn more about growing lettuce in All About Growing Lettuce.

Type Description  Culture Tips  Varieties 
Loose-leaf
45 to 55 days
Fast-growing plants in a range of colors and leaf types. Frilly ‘Lollos’ are among the first to bolt in spring; oakleaf varieties are among the last. Direct sow a mixture in a covered frame for your first salad greens of spring. Gradually thin to 5 inches apart. Sow again in late summer to harvest around your first fall frost date. ‘Green Ice’
‘Oakleaf’
‘Lollo Red’
‘Red Sails’
‘Salad Bowl’
Butterhead
45 to 60 days
Vigorous and cold tolerant, but the delicate leaves need protection from hail, ice and heavy rains. Easy to grow beneath row covers in spring or fall. Direct sow and thin to 6 inches apart, or start seedlings indoors and transplant when they are three weeks old. Use row covers or cloches to shield transplants from cold and wind. ‘Buttercrunch’
‘Four Seasons’
‘Kwiek’
‘Optima’
‘Pirat’
‘Tom Thumb’

Romaine
50 to 60 days
Retains texture and flavor well through hot spells, provided the plants never run short of water. Direct sow and thin to 6 inches apart, or start seedlings indoors and transplant when they are three weeks old. ‘Freckles’
‘Jericho’
‘Romulus’
‘Rosalita’
‘Rouge d’Hiver’
Crisphead
80 to 90 days
This crunchiest type of lettuce needs a long period of cool weather, but is worth the wait. Grow a few plants in spring, and more in the fall. Start seedlings indoors and transplant when they are three weeks old. Add mulch to keep soil cool and moist. Provide shade during hot spells. ‘Minetto’
‘Nevada’
‘Red Iceberg’
‘Sierra’ 
‘Summertime’ 

 Locate sources for these lettuce varieties with our custom Seed and Plant Finder.


Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+.





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