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4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

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4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  gwennifer on 4/7/2012, 12:35 pm

Okay folks, first time growing lettuce here. I've saved four squares right on the edge of my SFG for my salad squares, but I have six varieties of lettuce that I purchased seeds for, and I want to try them all:


  • Valmaine (Romaine)
  • Simpson Elite (Loose-Leaf)
  • Red Iceburg (Crisphead)
  • Tom Thumb (Butterhead)
  • Red Sails (Loose-Leaf)
  • Salad Bowl (Oak Leaf)

From reading, I've figured out that at least the two loose-leaf ones can be harvested in a cut-and-come again manner. Not sure if Salad Bowl and Romaine work the same way? And I'd like to see the two head types actually come to a head, so I just leave those alone right? And would stagger plant them so I don't have eight heads of lettuce all ready to harvest at once?

I would really appreciate recommendations on a planting scheme, since I'll need to combine some varieties within the squares to get them to all fit.


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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  quiltbea on 4/7/2012, 12:46 pm

I would put the looseleaf ones in a shallow pot so you can cut and come again several times, leaving the other squares for those you want to grow to full size.

John on GrowingYourGreens videos mentioned using the plant trays one gets when buying plants at nurseries as growing pots. I'm doing that for lettuces this year. They don't need a deep root and the 3 1/2 or 4" of depth works fine for lettuces. If you have any around, try it. I have some trays with drainage holes that I put under the lights inside another tray without holes. Those with drainage holes work just fine, too.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  gwennifer on 4/7/2012, 7:20 pm

Oh thanks Quiltbea, that's something to think about. Right now I want to use those squares up and keep everything in the SFG bed. I'm sure I can do a couple of squares half and half with two varieties so I can fit them all in. Just hoping someone with experience on the growth habits can recommend which varieties to pair together.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  camprn on 4/7/2012, 7:44 pm

I just mix them all up in the square... Rolling Eyes or build another box Very Happy

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  Turan on 4/7/2012, 8:36 pm

Red Sails and Simpson and oakleaf all grow together well. I mix them and then sprinkle in a square for cut and come again salad greens.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  littlejo on 4/7/2012, 9:44 pm

Red Iceburg is prob. the hardest to grow but your area may be fine. I'd put it in opposite corners of sq and put 1 of the leaf kinds in the other 2 corners. Tom thumb is my favorite. It gets crispy in the fridge after washing! It grows about 4 in. accross, 2 in tall. You cut the whole head to eat. If you cut the head instead of pulling the plant, it will grow back. It only yields about enough lettuce for 1 person per head. I'd put it in opposite corners with leaf styles in corners. I'd do the same with the romaine. This way you can try them all and can add more of the ones you like in the fall. Lettuce likes to be crowded, especiallly the Tom Thumb.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  Too Tall Tomatoes on 4/7/2012, 10:27 pm

This reminds me that I should plan on having a few different varieties of lettuces in my boxes. Unless, like quiltbea suggested, I have the lettuces planted in pots.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  quiltbea on 4/8/2012, 9:57 am

My reason for having lettuce in a couple of pots was so I could keep them growing near my kitchen doorway. My SFG garden is up a hill behind the house and I didn't want to have to go there each time I wanted something for the table. With lettuce and herbs in pots near the kitchen, I just take my scissors out the door and cut away happily at mealtime.



5/1/2011 some of my lettuces by the kitchen.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  camprn on 4/8/2012, 12:06 pm

Wicked good thinkin' QB!!!! Wink I think I will do the same. That way I can plant a few more squares of spinach or chard that I plan on freezing .

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/10/2012, 8:44 pm

Another thing to keep in mind...

If you are going to cut & come again, they heads are not going to reach full size. Therefore, you can plant them closer (I use about 5" between loose leaf lettuces). You'll probably be able to plant all of them in the squares you have if you plan well!

Turan's info about planting the head lettuce in the corners is a good one to keep in mind!

You can also tuck lettuce into squares where there is a tall leafy something growing, and it will give it shade. Squat Johnson has a thread where he used lettuce among his cole crops. His lettuces are FAR bigger than mine, because we like baby leaf lettuce!

Let us know what you do!

(I just saw this on my card...some of the lettuces, today, in 6" wide strip. You can see how close they are. The little on on the right is a recent transplant for one that collapsed.)

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/10/2012, 10:12 pm

Gwennifer, last year I planted two varieties of leaf lettuce in each square. I pick the outer leaves so the plant never gets very big, so I actually put 16 seedlings in each 12 inch square. (I know that is too many) But, they did really well despite my craziness.

This was my Sunset and Mottistone on 6/11/11

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  HereIGrowAgain on 4/10/2012, 10:25 pm

Hmmm...I've got a few partial squares left that aren't occupied. Maybe I should plant a bit of leaf lettuce. No use wasting space that's already prepared.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  walshevak on 4/11/2012, 7:38 am

@HereIGrowAgain wrote:Hmmm...I've got a few partial squares left that aren't occupied. Maybe I should plant a bit of leaf lettuce. No use wasting space that's already prepared.

+1

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  lisaphoto on 4/11/2012, 10:46 am

I have thrown lettuce seeds everywhere this year. Along the edge of the squares where I have peas, in planters intermixed with carrots, in planters I plan on using for summer crops. I don't even know what all I planted b/c some were mixed seeds. I figure, even if they don't get to full maturity before I need the space, I can always eat them young.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  Hoggar on 4/11/2012, 11:04 am

Last year my wife bought a pack of mixed leaf lettuce I planted 9 in a square
and it fed the whole family of 4 dinner salads for 5 months before it bolted.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 4/11/2012, 11:51 am

Tx to Ava for the shout out...
Yes, I do love me some head lettuce. This is what I am having for lunch - Merlot, butter-head, speckled Amish, and frizze.



Later on, hope to be eating lots of Broccoli.

I don't have a picture, but I try to plant a square every other week with Arugula, radish, and simpson leaf lettuce. Three 12" rows crammed into a square. They grow so quickly, I have to alternate often.

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Re: 4 squares left and 6 varieties of lettuce to plant - help?

Post  gwennifer on 4/11/2012, 12:42 pm

Thanks everyone for your replies! Looks like I have plenty of room to try all these lettuces. I"m excited to see how they all grow and what type of yield I get.

I was able to place my SFG right out my back door, just like Mel suggests in his ANSFG book. It's pretty easy to harvest for dinner, but I can't help thinking it would be even be easier if it was table top height and I didn't have to kneel down! I'm certainly more reluctant to run out there and grab something when it's been raining and the ground is all muddy. I'm actually trying right now to get bids on building a small raised landing out my back door that incorporates a waist height planter box. I would for sure plant lettuces in there in the spring and fall. It would also create some nooks and crannies for some herb pots or something. *sigh* Wouldn't that be nice? Too bad everyone wants an arm and a leg to do the work.

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