Lettuce Types for Your Coronavirus Victory Garden


Lettuce is a staple in many refrigerators.  We use it to make salads and add as topping for burgers and sandwiches.  Lettuce is a great way to add some extra nutrition, much needed fiber and less calories to our diets.  If you're missing your lettuce or having trouble finding it at the grocery, don't worry.  It's easy to grow at home.  Lettuce is a crop that has a fast turnover rate.  This means that you'll be able to harvest it sooner than many other crops, even if you plant it from seed.

Growing Lettuce

Lettuce is a simple crop to grow, but it may be slightly different than what you're used to growing.  When you think of gardening, you probably think of summer vegetables, like tomatoes or watermelons.  These crops require long, hot days and rich soil to grow.  Lettuce are cool weather crops. They prefer shorter days, cooler temperatures and moist soil. Ideally, lettuce likes to grow when daytime temperatures fall between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit and night temperatures are around 55 degrees. When lettuce is grown in warmer temperatures, it's subject to bolt. Lettuce that 'bolts' is trying to bloom and becomes bitter to eat. Growing lettuce in containers is an excellent way to make sure that your lettuce is grown in the right conditions; simply place the containers inside or in the shade to ensure that the plants don't get too warm.

Types of Lettuce

You're probably well aware of a few types of lettuce, like Iceberg or Romaine, if you purchase bagged lettuce. You may have even tried some spring mixes, which is mostly leaf lettuce varieties.  Even if you've tried some of the bolder lettuce mixes, you're still only skimming the surface of the lettuce varieties that are out there. Growing lettuce at home is a great way to skip the grocery store and experiment with some of the more unique lettuce varieties.

Iceberg. Ah, Iceberg lettuce. This lettuce is one that you probably have a love/hate relationship with. Most people either love it or they hate it. Iceberg lettuce gets a bad wrap more than other types of lettuce as having a lack of flavor. So let me point out a few of the positives. 

Iceberg has a high water content, which means if you're eating lettuce to shed some pounds, then iceberg may be your guy. It can fill you up with fewer calories than other lettuce types  It also creates a perfect head. This helps prevent it from wilting as fast in the refrigerator. You can cut the head into wedges and serve yourself a steakhouse style salad quickly. Iceberg lettuce will require a little more space to spread out in the container. Plan on giving it almost 12 inches of growing space and lots of water to accommodate the high water content. Plan on reseeding Iceberg as this is a one-cut crop.

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