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nes
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I did a butterhead buttercrunch this year - delicious! I'm a big salad fan too and next year I'd also like to plant a butterhead sangria (red tips) and a deer tongue. Also some arugula & radicchio.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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gixxerific
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I was going to say arugula but it seems like you have tried this. Another one would be Swiss Chard that is a fast growing lettuce good for salads plus it looks cool. Oh and I believe it is one of most nutritious of all lettuces.

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nes
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Thanks for the tip on the arugula, I'll put it under something for sure!

Butter-crunch is just delicious! It was best as baby leaves but I even ate it really mature and over grown as it was just SO good! We had a wet/cool summer that was great for lettuce, none of my b/c burned at all.

I also had a nice iceburg this year which was nice for hubby since he doesn't eat veggies :roll: not sure of the name though, and a "grand rapids" lettuce - but my seeds were bad so I only got a head or two & wasn't really impressed.

Yeah, I admit it, I'm a lettuce-head!
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

tedln
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I've planted mostly head lettuce in my fall garden. Two varieties of Romaine including the full sized and a miniture which I think is named "Little Caesar". If it really is a miniture, I'm hoping it is the right size to simply slice from top to bottom and serve with a dressing. I'm also growing Swiss Chard, but I thought it belonged more in the cabbage family than the lettuce family. I've never grown it and don't really know.

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hendi_alex
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I don't know, maybe my taste for lettuce is not very sophisticated, but I have always wondered about the many desriptions of lettuce from the seed catalogs. They all taste pretty much the same to me. Even head lettuce if harvested as it is forming leaves rather than being allowed to head tastes pretty similar to all of the others. Now, that is not to say thay all lettuces are the same to me. Romain seems to last much longer without bolting and without getting bitter. There seems to be much variation in the texture of the many loose leaf varieties. The bibbs like buttercrunch seem to give a big harvest over an extended season. IMO all of the lettuces can be grown over an extended season if one plants several successions about three weeks apart. Young fast growing lettuce ressists the effect of the heat of summer much more than do older more established plants. Some years I've managed to grow tasty lettuce all the way until the very hottest part of the summer, simply by keeping successions going and planting in semi shade/morning sun only locations in the late spring/early summer.

As a result of my experience with lettuce, I usually overweight my planting of romaine, because of the long season that it will provide. Then I try to plants at least three succession plantings of the more delicate loose leaf varieties. The bibb types also get somewhat of an overweighting because of their heavy production of very mild, large leaves, which continue over a long season. For flavor, well I don't find that in lettuce, all of which are very bland to me. We grow arugula year round and also try to keep a few swiss chard plants going. Add to those the fresh grown peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, and the salad has all of the zest and flavors that anyone could want.

One last mention would be of the mesclun mixes. I usually make a planting of those very early in the sping. They don't seem to handle hot weathers as well as the lettuces. I don't think that a mesclun mix contains very many if any true lettuces, but what a spicey, flavorful mix of salad greens. For us it is always a delight to walk out and pick that wonderful mix of interesting shaped and flavored greens for an early spring salad.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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nes
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Thanks Alex, those were some great tips!

I'm betting you're a 'smothering in a creamy salad dressing' sort of person though eh? If you're using a light vinaigrette (just balsamic & olive oil work for me!) you should be noticing a difference. It's really about how the different lettuces come together in the salad.

Seriously considering putting something together for growing lettuce over the winter. Mmmmmm.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

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gixxerific
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Right now I have I believe it is mustard as well as arugula and chard growing. I have been eating salads a lot more. They are very full of flavor. I harvested so much yesterday I had to give some away before it went bad. I had to warn my neighbor that it is a bit strong unlike your normal tasteless salad at a restaurant.

Never really grew lettuce before or rather never really did anything with it when I did. Next year will be different.

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hendi_alex
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We don't really use salad dressing very much. When dining out, usually opt for a creamy blue cheese, but that is on the side, used very sparringly. After all, what is the point of a healthy salad, if it is covered in a third of a cup of creamy high calorie dressing. Plus I don't like the effect that the creamy dressing have on the texture of the salad. At home we usually opt for a fruity California olive oil with a good sqeeze of lemon juice. Sometimes we will add a couple of teaspoons of vinegar from the calamata olive jar.

When taste testing different lettuce types, it is just the lettuce leaf of each with no enhancements. Still, not much difference from my point of view, though bitterness does vary quite a bit especially in warmer weather.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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jal_ut
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Just a note: Arugula and chard are not lettuce.

The arugula is a mustard and the chard is in the same Genus as beets. Beet greens are also good to eat. If you like the spicy flavor of arugula you also may like some mustard greens for salad.

My standby lettuce varieties are Black-seeded Simpson and Romaine.

Here is a pic of some Giant Curled Mustard:

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/Giant_Curled_Mustard.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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SP8
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jal_ut wrote:Just a note: Arugula and chard are not lettuce.
True in definition but that's what they are most commonly used as, in the same way that peanuts are not nuts :)
I >>used to<< grow vegetables in containers on my balcony and this >>was<< my Blog:
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gixxerific
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Is mustard an herb, Arugula is considered an herb.

Though Arugula, mustard, swiss chard are not lettuces. That is what we have been making salads out of for month's. :D My wife my daughter and myself and my neighbors love them. My son won't eat anything, his problem not mine.

My Black seeded simpson didn't do to well this year. I will be trying many new types next year. I have some crazy plans, let's hope they come to fruition.

garden5
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I planted iceberg (great lakes) and bibb. However, due to a combination of late planting and lack of thinning, the iceberg never formed heads and both types grew about 1ft. or taller and tasted somewhat bitter on the later harvests. I thing this is what is called "bolting"

It is interesting to note, however, that the bibb lettuce resisted bolting and bitterness longer than the iceberg.

I planted some lettuce in mid-September for a fall harvest, but some did not sprout and it is still quite small. The spinach-mustard, which was planted at the same time, germinated quite well and is larger.

Next year, I will be planting earlier and thinning heavier.

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jal_ut
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I like to thin the lettuce plants to a foot apart. Then you can get some nice good sized heads. The leaves will have good body and flavor.
I actually plant 3 or 4 seed each foot then later thin the bunches to one plant. I don't raise iceburg, but think you really need to thin head letuce if you want a nice head.

Here is a pic of Black-seeded Simpson. When it is time to harvest, I take the whole plant.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/lettuce_09.jpg[/img]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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applestar
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I grew several different lettuces this spring, including a couple of icebergs. My main problem was SLUGS! Overall, though slugs tended to attack red lettuces less. Red Sails was the least damaged....

... do you ever start typing up a thought, and feel a sense of déjà vu?
Ah, here it is :wink: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=83213#83213

I really liked Red Sails for slug resistance and Magenta and Tin Tin for bolt resistance. Red Cross was a wonderfully tender Boston Bibb type lettuce (the gourmet kind they sell the whole head protected in a clear plastic container) -- the leaves practically bruised between the garden and the kitchen.

ArceyJohnson
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Sorry I am a bit late to the thread, but I am planning a garden planting schedule and am sort of stuck on lettuce/greens.

I just moved to southern upstate ny, near binghamton, zone 6. The fact that I have never seen spring/summer here is part of the problem... :shock: I have also (ahem) never actually gardened except for some container herbs and tomatoes in urban environments. But now I'm in the country and hoping to eventually grow everything I could ever want to eat. Doing that homesteading thing.

The question is, can I plant greens/lettuce in mid-June and get a harvest, and then let the beds be used by someone else, and then plant greens/lettuce again in September for a fall harvest? The seed catalogs and books I'm reading are oddly vague on the planting dates for these....

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Ozark Lady
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I like buttercrunch, but actually, other than romaine, I just don't see all the taste variations that are reported to exist in lettuce.
I do notice textures, and bitterness... some is really bitter, and I don't care for bitter.
I am not big on salad dressings, and I like to mix various textures and colors, but it all tastes like... lettuce.
So, I add cucumbers, radishes, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, lots of none lettuce items, and the lettuce is only there to pull it all together.
I like the crunch, in salads, or sandwiches, but the taste... I just don't see the differences either.

I suppose some of us just have better trained palates?
Think about it, if not for the visual and texture... could you close your eyes and tell one lettuce from another? I like buttercrunch... because of the crunch... texture. And it doesn't bolt for me... like most others.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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jal_ut
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The question is, can I plant greens/lettuce in mid-June and get a harvest, and then let the beds be used by someone else, and then plant greens/lettuce again in September for a fall harvest? The seed catalogs and books I'm reading are oddly vague on the planting dates for these....
Lettuce can be planted very early. I plant as early in April as the ground will let me get on it. You could plant something after the lettuce. What to plant will depend on how much frost free time you have left. Green beans might work. I don't know what to tell you about a fall crop. I never do that here.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

purplerose
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Protecting lettuce seedlings

What tips do people have for protecting lettuce seedlings? I've not been that successful. I have thrown some Mesclun seed where I wanted it. The plants seem to come up but then disappeared. I reckon something ate them. I don't have any problems with purchased seedlings. (Oh I usually purchase mignonette and cos.)

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applestar
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Disappearing seedlings in garden bed is usually the work of slugs in my garden.... Lettuce seeds being plentiful, I sow seeds thickly (about 1/2" apart) when direct seeding. I also start transplants inside and plant out when they have 2 well-grown true leaves. Dawn and twilight, as well as rainy day slug patrol... some advocate midnight patrol with flashlight. ([url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14010&highlight=slug+count]Here's my thread on slugs from last year[/url] There are plenty other threads -- look for cynthia_h's :wink: )

garden5
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Re: Protecting lettuce seedlings

purplerose wrote:What tips do people have for protecting lettuce seedlings? I've not been that successful. I have thrown some Mesclun seed where I wanted it. The plants seem to come up but then disappeared. I reckon something ate them. I don't have any problems with purchased seedlings. (Oh I usually purchase mignonette and cos.)
I had the same exact problem with both my lettuce and radishes this past fall when I planted my (late) fall garden. They came up, but were much more space that what I had planted. I thought it was deer, my main garden problem, but then I read about slugs on here (actually, I think it was in one of your posts, Applestar); and it sounded very probable that I had slugs. About two weeks or so later, I spotted one while weeding :!:,furthur supporting my hunch. Oddly enough, I had none of these problem when I planed the main garden in early spring. Perhaps they don't like cold ground :?.

Good luck with this year's garden.

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