- Home grown lettuce taste very different to the
ones you will buy in the store. The have a crunch
and a watery freshness you simply cannot find in
the store bought ones.
- Lettuce makes the perfect filler crop as long as the
light does not get drowned out by the other plants.
- There are four main types of lettuce we usually grow:
Butterhead, Cos, Crisphead and loose-leaf.
- Butterhead: These are quick to grow and are more forgiving in poorer soil. Their soft leaves will wilt soon after harvest so eat straight away. The internal hearts are one of the great treats from the garden.
- Cos: they grow upright looking almost like an arrow head. Lovely crispy leaves, if you want a slightly sweeter taste give semi cos a try.
- Crisphead: Better known as iceberg lettuce. they grow into large hearts of curled leaves, and I like them because they are not as prone to bolting as other varieties. However, they are possibly the worst tasting of the varieties.
- Loose leaf: This variety will not develop a heart and as a result this is the best variety for cut and come again. They will also not look out of place in a ornamental boarder.
Sowing and growing
- Summer and autumn varieties can be sown in spring or possibly late winter under cover.
- Early winter crops can be sown in late summer.
- Midwinter cops will need to be sown in a heated greenhouse or propagator in mid-autumn.
- Hardy Spring crops can be sown in mid-autumn in a greenhouse.
- Lettuce will appreciate a sunny spot but during very hot midsummer days will require a little shade.
- During hot summer months make sure to water regularly, especially if grown in containers to avoid bolting (when the plant runs to seed and will flower).
- Space plants 15cm apart for dwarf or 20cm for full size plants.
- Butterhead: All year around, Artic king, Avondefiance, Buttercrunch, Clarion, Cobham, Diana, Marvel of four seasons, Sunny, Tom Thumb
- Cos: Claremont, Corsair, Freckles, little Gem pearl, Little Leprechaun, Lobjoits Green cos, Marshall, Pandero, Pinokkio, Romany, Tintin, Winter density
- Crisphead: Greak Lakes, Lakeland, Minigreen, Robinson, Saladin, Sioux, Webbs Wonderful
- Loose leaf: Bijou, Catalogna, Cocarde, Frillice, Lollo Bionda, Lolla Rossa, Red salad bowl, Rusty, Salad bow