Lettuce Cocarde is a beautiful oak leaf type lettuce with smooth deeply lobed leaves and large, upright, trumpet shaped heads. This French cousin of 'Green Oak Leaf', the leaves start out a bronzy-red then turn green at the centre, while tips and edges remain a soft bronze.
The sweet yet full flavour, and delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture will keep you coming back for more. The large open heads are slow to bolt and can be picked as required for use in any mesclun mix, or cut in one go.
Cocarde is a very adaptable lettuce which can be grown in most climates and in most seasons. Direct sow in small batches every 4 to 6 weeks from February to September.
Lettuce Cocarde has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
Prepare the site:
Lettuces are easy to grow in the smallest of gardens or even in pots on a balcony or patio. Cocarde is slow to run to seed and there is a long window of opportunity for harvesting. For the best lettuce experience, pick early in the morning and refrigerate for eating the same day. This gives the maximum amount of flavour, freshness and nutrients.
Lettuce doesn't do well in very acidic soils, and some say the pH shouldn't be lower than 6.5. A rich soil is excellent for lettuce, but the crop will also do well in average garden soil. The best crops are grown in soil that is deeply enriched with well-rotted manure and is well-fertilized before planting, especially with high nitrogen--leaf-stimulating--fertilizers such as 10-8-4, cottonseed meal, or blood meal.
Under protection: February to March (Plant outside in April) Directly outdoors: March to August.
They can also be sown in autumn to overwinter if protected.
The perfect temperature for germination is 4 to 16°C (40 to 60°F) rates decline above 20°C (68°F). The perfect temperature for growth is 16 to 18°C (60 to 65°F)
For the best crops, sow in succession from spring to mid-summer. The butterhead lettuces will be ready to crop around 72 days after sowing. They are more dry tolerant than most salad leaf vegetables. Sow in early autumn for overwintering.
Sow at a seed depth of 6 to 12mm (¼ to ½in) Seed will germinate in 7 to 14 days.
Sow seeds in short rows about 30cm (12in) apart. To do this, make a shallow trench with a cane about 15mm (¾ in) deep. Space the rows 20cm (8in) apart. Tip a small amount of seed into your hand, take a pinch and spread thinly along the trench. Cover with soil, label and water. If birds are a problem in your garden, spread netting to prevent them eating the seed.
When the seedlings are about 2cm (1in) tall, thin them out to give them space to grow, 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in). Make successional sowings at 14 day intervals.
On a hot day, water the soil thoroughly before sowing. Try, if possible, to sow during the early afternoon.
A mulch of grass clippings, salt hay, clean straw, or the like, will keep the weeds out and the growing soil moist and cool. Watering is essential if rainfall is scant. The plants need almost constantly moist ground. This is particularly important when the lettuces are one or two weeks away from harvesting, as dry soil now will cause the plants to put their energy into producing flowers.
The key to tender and tasty lettuce is rapid growth, however lettuce has a relatively shallow and compact root system that doesn't absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil very efficiently, which can slow the growth. To encourage fast growth, add plenty of finished compost before planting and again as a side-dressing a week or so after seedlings appear or transplants are planted. Give supplemental feedings of compost tea every few weeks until harvest.
Aphids – Wash off minor infestations before the plants are eaten. If there is a heavy population grow nasturtiums near the lettuce, or use an organic solution.
When the head of the lettuce is firm when gently pressed it is ready to harvest.The harvest is over when a central stem starts to form. This is the signal that the plant is getting ready to bolt and the leaves will be bitter.
The buttherhead's are not a regimented, orderly lettuce: each will have its own unique appearance and character.
Avoid following radicchio, endive, escarole or artichoke.
All brassicas (except broccoli, but especially radishes), beat, carrot, cucumber, onion family, pole lima bean, strawberry
A cockade is an ornament or badge often used for official ceremonies to show rank or allegiance.
Usually worn in the hat, it can be a decorative knot of cloth or ribbon such as a rosette or even a feather. The word itself changed in the 18th century, from the earlier cockard, which was taken from the French cocarde meaning arrogant or strutting, like a cock.
In the 18th Century they were commonly used throughout Europe and America. In Great Britain a white cockade was worn by those supporting the restoration of a Jacobite monarchy, while in contrast the established Hanoverian monarchy they were trying to overthrow had one that was all black.
Metal cockades were worn at the right side of helmets; small button-type cockades were worn at the front of kepis and peaked caps and continue to be worn to the present day.
In France, the tricolor cockade was adopted as a means to declare your revolutionary sympathies and later as a national symbol of the new France. By 1789 this roundel of ribbon of concentric stripes, red, white and blue became a national symbol for the revolution and in July 1792 a law was passed making it mandatory for all men to wear the tricolore cocarde.
France began the first Air Service in 1909 and soon picked the traditional French cockade as the first national emblem, now usually termed a roundel, on military aircraft. During World War I, other countries adopted national cockades and used these coloured emblems as roundels on their military aircraft. These designs often bear an additional central device or emblem to further identify national aircraft, those from the French navy bearing a black anchor within the French cockade.
|Packet Size||1 gram|
|Average Seed Count||900 Seeds|
|Seeds per gram||900 seeds per gram|
|Common Name||Loose Leaf, Oakleaf Lettuce|
|Species||sativa var capitata|
|Soil||The crop will do well in average garden soil. Ideally aim for a pH of less than 6.5|
|Time to Sow||Under protection: Sept to March (Plant out April) Outside: Mar to Aug|
|Harvest||Harvest April to October - 72 days to maturity|
|Time to Harvest||All Year Round (with cloche/coldframe in winter)|