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Romaine Lettuce

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Romaine Lettuce

Post  dixie on 10/3/2010, 10:26 pm

I just harvested my first romaine lettuce & it was nothing like what I buy at the grocery store & I was disappointed. It was just like regular butterhead type loose leaf lettuce. I planted Parris Island Cos.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  quiltbea on 10/3/2010, 10:39 pm

Maybe its the heat in the south? Have you had high temps?

I don't know for sure since I haven't tried very many yet but I'm also in the cooler northeast. My buttercrunch, red oak leaf and crispino lettuces were all wonderfully tasty.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  dixie on 10/3/2010, 10:44 pm

Yes, we've had high temps, but plants were shaded. I'm trying some more seeds, the others may have been planted too early. They weren't bitter or anything, they just didn't have that crisp texture I was expecting (I picked them late evening, today's high was 65).

It wasn't a heart-healthy salad, but it sure was good - lettuce, hard boiled egg, onion & hot bacon grease, what DH's family called Spring Salad.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  Garden Angel on 10/4/2010, 12:31 pm




Hi Dixie, I planted the same , by Botanical Interest? it's an heirloom variety, mine are still young, good and crisp but maybe not as in the store variety we are used too I think they look alittle more bumpy?
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/4/2010, 9:50 pm

Dixie, I planted Parris Island Cos and choose to pick the outer leaves individually rather than wait for a head (or big clump whatever you would call Romaine) and mine are very firm and crisp. I can make a finger salad by placing feta dressing on a single leaf, then picking it up by the stem end and it holds its shape and does not droop like leaf lettuce would. I wait until the leaves are 7 - 9 inches long before harvesting and then harvest down to the last 3 - 5 leaves in the center of the plant, and it seems to love to come again.
Granted, this variety is very different from grocery store romaine and does not have the very dark green outer leaves, but I have never tried to let it grow really big.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  dixie on 10/5/2010, 8:26 am

Thanks, I'll try picking it that way. My leaves were about that size, but I harvested the entire head and they could in no way be described as crisp. I checked them early this morning & they were about the same as picking in the evening.

Does anyone know what variety is offered at the grocery store?
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  ribarr4 on 10/5/2010, 9:25 am

You may have done this, but we wash it in cold water and stick it in the frig overnight. It crisp it up a little. I don't know what the variety they have at the grocery store, but we use "Green Forrest" from Johnny's seeds as well as "Parris Island". We like the flavor of "GF" better, but don't always have t on hand when it is time to plant. Timing on fall lettuce in the south is tricky sometimes.

Good luck.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  pattipan on 10/5/2010, 9:46 am

I've been growing Burpee's Little Caesar Romaine for several years and I've found that for me the nice heads are weather dependent. I usually successively plant the seed from early to late March.

In 2009 I had these beautiful heads (cool temps in April):


This 2010 April had 80 degree temps:


I plant it in the Fall too, but the heads are never as nice as the Spring plantings. This year we had record high temps in September, so my Romaine looks more like leaf lettuce again.

One lettuce that seems to stand the heat and still remain crispy is Green Ice. It's in my garden every year! That's it to the left of the Little Caesar in the second picture.

pattipan
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  Furbalsmom on 10/5/2010, 12:14 pm

I agree with ribarr4, I always wash the lettuces or romaine in cool water, spin them dry and refrigerate. It does make a big difference in the crispiness of the lettuce.
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Re: Romaine Lettuce

Post  dixie on 10/5/2010, 9:45 pm

I did wash it in cold water & refrigerate for a while, but I'm beginning to think that with all the craziness around here I planted something other than romaine. My romaine packet has been opened, but none of them look like what you guys have, no white ribs or anything.

I planted more seeds today, we'll see how they do.
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