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What is your favorite lettuce?

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What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  elliephant on 8/28/2010, 2:13 pm

Really looking forward to planting lots of lettuce this fall/winter as that's the one veggie my little girls (ages 3 and 4) will actually eat.

What are your favorite lettuces to grow and why? Looking for ones that are not bitter. Last spring when I planted my first SFG I used a mix packet and didn't like that because it's hard to get a good mix if you don't plant a lot of seeds and I didn't like all varieties.

I'm thinking my first plantings will probably need to be heat tolerant (average high/low 86/65 in Oct, 78/57 in Nov) and then I'll need some that like the cold for the ones that I hope to grow through the winter (71/50 in Dec, 69/48 in Jan, with frost/freeze window from mid Dec-Jan). I'm hopefully I can grow all winter long by watching the weather and draping fabric over the box on the handful of nights that it dips below freezing. My boxes are 2X8s along a fence with a trellis, so I'm thinking it'll be easy to kinda "tent" them overnight.

So far all I have is Black-Seeded Simpson.

Looking forward to hearing lots of lettuce likes/dislikes (and advice is also welcome!) thanks

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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  pattipan on 8/28/2010, 2:29 pm

My three favorites:
    Green Ice -- Heat tolerant, slow to bolt, crispy blistered leaves. Never bitter unless it IS bolting.

    Little Caesar -- A mini Romaine type. Heat tolerant, little upright heads form fast, but we do eat a lot of it as it comes on too!

    Red Salad Bowl -- Heat tolerant, grows fast, not bitter unless it starts to bolt.


All the above available from www.burpee.com although you can find Green Ice just about anywhere now. That's my top three favorite lettuces, but I always like to try new ones too! We always grow lots of spinach for salads too.

pattipan

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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  Megan on 8/28/2010, 4:53 pm

So far I have only grown a spicy mesclun mix from Burpee. I liked it a lot. Even though a few of them were a little sharper than I prefer, mixed in with the others it was all good... and it was very, very slow to bolt. The biggest problem I had with it was that one of the varieties in the mix (and sadly I have no idea which one) was an absolute magnet for flea beetles! It got absolutely shredded.

I got some seed from Baker Creek called "Merveille des Quatre Saisons" which is supposed to be ready in 48 days. I'm hoping to get in at least one crop this fall; wish me luck!
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  elliephant on 8/30/2010, 10:34 am

Thanks! I'll check them out. I did get out and pull out my dying pepper plants this morning, so one step closer to a fall garden. It was only 85 this morning, so I didn't even break a sweat! Torn between wanting to get started and wanting to wait until it cools down. But I have to garden in brief chunks of time because of the little ones (which makes SFGing perfect!) so I'm trying to do what I can each day.

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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  WardinWake on 8/30/2010, 10:51 am

@elliephant wrote:Thanks! I'll check them out. I did get out and pull out my dying pepper plants this morning, so one step closer to a fall garden. It was only 85 this morning, so I didn't even break a sweat! Torn between wanting to get started and wanting to wait until it cools down. But I have to garden in brief chunks of time because of the little ones (which makes SFGing perfect!) so I'm trying to do what I can each day.

Ellie: There are many varieties of lettuce out there. We plant various including a couple of "reds". One fun one you might like to plant is "Drunken Woman Frizzy Headed" which is a Butter-head type of lettuce and has 8 inch, red tinged green leaves. The seed packet states it is a 55 day lettuce and it can be ordered from Territorial Seed Company out of Cottage Grove, Oregon. This lettuce was developed on the slopes of the Italian Alps. The seed packet also states that this lettuce can be planted every 3 to 4 weeks for a continual harvest all season long. Plant this lettuce 4 per square.

God Bless, Ward and Mary.
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/30/2010, 1:25 pm

elliephant
I know you commented you did not prefer mixes, but I used the Burpee Mesclun SWEET salad mix as my family does not enjoy spicy salads and had pretty good results (35 days). Burpee Looseleaf blend includes black seeded simpson, Red Salad Bowl, Royal Oak Leaf, Lolla Rossa and Salad Bowl. These are nice tender and colorful varieties (45 days). Both mixes can be planted 9 per square. My personal favorite is Prizehead Lettuce which has a really loose head, so I just pick outside leaves (45 days). That way you can plant them 16 to a square. If you prefer to pick the whole heads, you can plant up to 4 per square.

Another suggestion is New Zealand Spinach which is used in the same manner as spinach, but the plant is very different and very heat tolerant. It is not a salad green and should be cooked, but is a milder version of spinach. link to New Zealand Spinach Info
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  boffer on 8/30/2010, 1:39 pm

I second Wards's vote for DWFH. When mature, it still lasts a long time without getting bitter. This is my first year trying it-definitely a keeper. I tried Merlot from TSC this year. It's a burgandy leaf, slow to bolt and doesn't get bitter, and it works great to spruce up the look of a salad.

I like prizehead, too, but over the last four years I've been growing it, it seems to be the slowest growing of all lettuces for me. Go figure!
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  Magic Garden on 8/30/2010, 1:56 pm

Corn salad AKA vit AKA mache
Sooo sweet, my favorite

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/977/european_greens
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  miinva on 8/30/2010, 4:23 pm

Furbalsmom, is that the same as Malibar Spinach? I planted some of that this year and it grew like crazy!

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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/30/2010, 4:34 pm

I think they are two different types. Malibar grows on vines up to 10 feet long per Territorial Seeds catalog. New Zealand grows more bushy, 1 - 2 feet high and 2 - 3 ft wide. You harvest only the top few inches of each branch. I just looked up malibar and think I may try it next year. I love spinach, but the idea of harvesting from vines sounds good to me. Less stooping over.
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Re: What is your favorite lettuce?

Post  miinva on 8/31/2010, 10:27 pm

I encourage you to do so, it's flavorful and easy to grow! Smile I planted one green one and one red one, and the red one vines much more than the green one, which grows on thicker stems. They appear to be equally productive as far as leaves go, but the red might produce slightly more flower

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