Dixana
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Lettuce

How am I supposed to choose a kind of lettuce when A) I have no idea what they taste like and B) there are like 5000 different varieties?? I want different stuff for salads. Not too fond of the bitterish stuff.
What types of lettuce do you grow/recommend?
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jal_ut
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I have had good luck with Black Seeded Simpson and Romaine. I have never had good luck with the head types. One thing I will recommend is space it out to ten inches or a foot so it can have room to develop some nice leaves. Lettuce grown crowded has no body and not much flavor.

[img]https://donce.lofthouse.com/jamaica/2lettuce.jpg[/img]

This is four plants of lettuce. The variety is Black Seeded Simpson.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Dixana
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Ooooh it's lovely! It is a sweeter lettuce, spicy, bitter?
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gumbo2176
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Dixiana, do you now grow swiss chard or spinach? These are excellent raw or cooked. I also grow Kale which I find mild when compared to some of the bitter salad greens and arugula I grow.

As for lettuces, I'll second what jal-ut says abut leaf lettuce as opposed to heading types. I've had much more success with leaf lettuce and if you want, you can harvest a few leaves a plant to extend the harvesting. Simpson is a good one, romaine, red oak leaf all have a place in my garden.

My salads are quite colorful with Brite lights swiss chard, kale, arugula, several lettuce varieties and some bitter greens in addition to carrots, tomato, cucumbers and celery. The lettuce in the picture is quite mild and light on the palate. I find it is much more delicate than say, Romaine or regular Bib lettuces.

DoubleDogFarm
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Well for me it's romaine and butterhead varieties. I like Buttercrunch, Tom Thumb, Devils Tongue, Freckles, Valmaine.

Leaf, Red Sails and Simpson.

There are hundreds to choose from and most will go bitter in the heat of the summer.

I plant mine out 6" in all directions.
This is Red Sails and Buttercrunch May 30th 2010

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Vegetable%20Garden%20May%2030th%202010/DSC02245.jpg[/img]

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soil
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we have buttercrunch and black seeded simposon and a few other varieties that grow wild here, let a few go to seed once to collect my own, they pop up in funny places, now i get free lettuce each winter/spring.
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wordwiz
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I really recommend growing leaf lettuce under some kind of cover - we used a cotton tobacco canvas, even an old sheet. It keeps it way more tender and helps prevent bolting.

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Dixana
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Well Simpson and Red Sails seem to be well liked all around. That's a good sign for me :D Kale....well, isn't kale really bitter? I am growing bright lights swiss chard this year. I'm not sure if I'll like it, but if I don't it makes a very pretty ornamental 8)
I LOVE spinach, but I've never grown it. I'm leaning toward Regatta spinach as I've heard it's good as baby leaves or full grown.

How much lettuce would you plant to have a decent sized salad every other day or so? And as far as succession planting, every week? Two? Oh, and I have to provide enough for preschooler nibbling. My little guy will be 3 1/2 this summer and he can mow down salad with the best!
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garden5
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Re: Lettuce

Dixana wrote:How am I supposed to choose a kind of lettuce when A) I have no idea what they taste like and B) there are like 5000 different varieties?? I want different stuff for salads. Not too fond of the bitterish stuff.
What types of lettuce do you grow/recommend?
Come on here and ask us :wink:. I tried heading lettuce once and did not get nice heads. I believe that it bolted so I probably should have planted it much earlier. Starting outdoors in cold frames or else indoors under lights may have given me a better chance.

Personally, I tried grand rapids leaf lettuce this year and it grew pretty good.
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Susan W
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When I do plant lettuce (spring crop here), plant leaf lettuce and scatter sow. I like a variety, and it is pretty in the garden, so get at least 3 types and mix. There are a couple of salad mixes put up in packets. For just me is more economical, as just need 1 packet, not 3 - 4! As the lettuce starts to grow, thin out the over crowded ones, pinch of little roots and eat. You can keep working on the 'thinnings' until the others get big enough leaves. I pinch off/harvest the outside ones, let the new inner ones grow. They will keep producing until it gets HOT!

I also like the young tender swiss chard leaves in the mix. I have done arugula but as I recall can start to get bitter.
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DoubleDogFarm
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Lettuce is good but a salad is better. Salad can have many fresh raw veggies in them and duck eggs too. :D

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Farmers%20Market%20Produce/DSC02165.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Farmers%20Market%20Produce/DSC02346.jpg[/img]

Eric

Dixana
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bleh. I don't care for eggs in my salad. Mine usually consists of a mix of greens, some peppers, cukes, maters, sometimes mushrooms and some yummy avocado. I like french dressing.............and now I want salad.
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DoubleDogFarm
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I like french dressing
Uf Da ! :> :lol:

Eric

gumbo2176
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Dixana wrote:Well Simpson and Red Sails seem to be well liked all around. That's a good sign for me :D Kale....well, isn't kale really bitter? I am growing bright lights swiss chard this year. I'm not sure if I'll like it, but if I don't it makes a very pretty ornamental 8)
I LOVE spinach, but I've never grown it. I'm leaning toward Regatta spinach as I've heard it's good as baby leaves or full grown.
How much lettuce would you plant to have a decent sized salad every other day or so? And as far as succession planting, every week? Two? Oh, and I have to provide enough for preschooler nibbling. My little guy will be 3 1/2 this summer and he can mow down salad with the best!
Personally, I don't find Kale bitter but others may. It definitely isn't as bitter as some of the bitter greens or as strong tasting as the arugula I'm now growing.

One thing I'll do with kale once in a while is pick the leaves, wash and dry them, break them up a bit in large pieces, sprinkle with olive oil and mix to coat well, add some sea salt, black pepper and place in a 275 degree oven spread out in a pan to dry out to just crispy. This makes for an interesting snack similar to chips but much healthier.

I now have at least 75 ft. of rows devoted to all of my salad and cooking greens. I've only done 3 plantings, all direct sown into the garden since late September and will likely get some started in trays in a week or so to put in for spring since I doubt seriously the seeds will sprout in these cooler temps.

It's great that the youngster likes salads. I too loved salads as a kid and can survive on them if the need arises. Oh, and spinach is no harder to grow than many other salad greens. The only advice I can give on salad greens is they grow well in cool/cold weather but tend to bolt quickly when it is warm. So, to extend the season a bit, plant them in an area where they will receive some shade during the hottest part of the day. I grow mine near my pole bean trellis and it is shaded from the evening sun. That only works for so long though in our summer heat.

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Kale bitter? Not my Portugese. Sweet.

My favorite salad green last year was lambsquarters, but I had Rainbow chard, the kale, spinach, and Red Sails and Black Seeded Simpson. Started the latter two twice; might do it three times this season.

So yup, salad. Plenty of it.

HG
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Dixana
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DD-what's wrong with french dressing?? It's yummy!

Maybe I'll plant just a little bit of Kale and see how we like it.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
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What kind of lettuce should I grow?

I find that most companies now started to get smart and offer a lettuce blend! There are many blends! I like to get a blend with early and a late lettuce mixed so when the early is about done the semi head is getting tender! Get a blend with at least 6 mixes of lettuce! I also start a early bed of lettuce by placing seens in a bag of potting soil and putting it in the house for 3 days then dumping the lettuce soil mix in severa rows or a bed. The bed is made with some manure or blood meal 10 inches under the bed. I cover the bed with clear plastic for about a week and punch a few pencil holes in the plastic so it does not get too hot!. You will have the nicest lettuce. Don't use chicken fresh manure or your lettuce will be bitter from to much nitrogen in the manure! I also suggest to add some carrots and a few radishes to the mix I even add a few beets and broccoli. When the bed of lettuce is done you wil have los of carrots and as the bed matures you can replant the broccoli! The beets work great because you can eat the tops in the salad similar to swss chart but milder! The radish just help shade the lettuce so it does not bolt and also loosen the soil for the carrots.! Gardening is FUN when you put your mind too it!
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GardenStream
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I grow my lettuce in containers rather than in the garden. I have 4 or 5 black plastic containers that were originally from trees and they're around 7 gallons. I also open up my cold frame and use that as another lettuce growing area. I like the leaf lettuces because they're fast and easy to grow.

Last year I grew:
Black Seeded Simpson
Chadwick's Rodan
Cracoviensis
Corn Salad – Dutch
Flame
Rubin
Sunset


I also have lambs quarters and purslane growing wild. I love to have a colorful mixed salad. We are a family of 4 and eat salads most days in the spring and fall.

Also, if you let one or two lettuce plants go to seed you'll have lettuce everywhere. I have lettuce growing in the driveway, in the cracks of my brick walkway and in my flower beds.

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Halfway
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I notice that in this year's crop (no pun intended) of seed catalogs, almost half have lettuce mixes up front.

Indoor gardening is getting a lot of attention as of late as well as overall gardening to put food on the table.

With the economy in a tail spin (despite the media's attempt at otherwise), and ALL food production factors getting more expensive, this is the trend and will steadily grow.

We are enjoying continuous lettuce, especially those that are much more nutritious than we find at the supermarket.

I like the idea of containers Gardenstream!! Already added that to plans sheets!!
Zone 4a.

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GardenStream
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Halfway wrote: I like the idea of containers Gardenstream!! Already added that to plans sheets!!
I forgot to tell you why I do lettuce in containers. My deck is 99% full sun. I like the containers because I can move them around as the weather gets warmer. They're on the deck in full sun in early spring. Then, I move them over to the one area that's mostly shade as it gets more toward summer. Then, I can bring one or two inside in the winter and put them under my grow lights. I also stagger the containers, I plant one one week and another a week later, etc... That helps me to keep lettuce almost all of the time. When the lettuce starts to bolt, I pull the plants and plant more.

I'm also really lazy and like to walk out the sliding glass door to pick my lettuce. The garden is a good 100 feet away from my kitchen door. :lol:

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