The 'Gourmet Lettuce' Mix' is a mixed blend of the very best tasting, and most beautiful lettuce varieties.
Containing a selection of award winning varieties, designed to be a treat for the eye as well as the tongue. This selection contains both red and green types which gives a colourful mix of textures and tastes, and can be grown all year round.
This mix of lettuce varieties can be used for both baby leaf or for growing to maturity. They can be grown all year round, for a continuous supply of tasty and nutritious baby leaves. They can be harvested when small, just three weeks after planting, or used as an main crop lettuce. To grow to maturity takes just 45 days. Space around 15 to 20cm (6 to 8in).
Each of the varieties are cut-and-come-again types, that is, if you pick the outer leaves, the plants will continue to grow. Plant a few rows every two weeks for a continuous supply.
Lettuce can be grown in the home, on windowsills or raised in pots in glasshouses or polytunnels in cooler areas for winter early spring crops. Given the right conditions, these types of lettuce will successfully grow year round. In autumn through to spring they can be grown in a cold frame or low tunnel. Protected this way, adolescent plants can survive when outdoor temperatures dip to -12°C (10°F).
Each of the varieties included in this mix have been awarded the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Lettuce 'Lollo Rossa' is a most beautiful lettuce, appreciated for its unique shape and refreshing taste. With dark copper red fading to bright green, finely crinkled frilly leaves which are crisp, almost brittle when snapped.
Lettuce 'Lollo Bionda' forms a beautiful round mound of pale green, crisp frilled edged leaves. It holds well in summer heat and in the cold and makes an attractive complement to Lollo Rossa.
Lettuce 'Catalogna Cerbiatta' produces tasty oak-leaf shaped, green leaves. This exceptional variety tolerates heat very well, but also excels in cooler climates.
Lettuce ‘Henderson's Black Seeded Simpson’ is regarded by many as one of the best tasting loose-leaf lettuce varieties available. Well adapted to a wide range of climates it produces lovely large green, firm crinkly leaves with a sweet and delicious flavour. Definitely one for the connoisseur.
Lettuce 'Red Salad Bowl' is a large fast growing rosette lettuce with long, burgundy-red, deep cut leaves. It produces large, slow bolting, non-heading plants with sweet, succulent leaves.
Lettuce 'Green Salad Bowl' is aptly named, one plant fills a salad bowl with no need to add other lettuces. This large fast growing rosette variety has long, green, deep cut, succulent leaves.
For the best lettuce...
Never sow a whole row at once, a small row about 60cm (2ft) long is adequate for most households. For a continuous crop, sow short rows every two weeks.
Prepare the site:
Lettuce can grow from seed to salad in about one month in many regions, and only a little longer in others.
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. So 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.
Sow indoors: Anytime of year for babyleaf and four weeks before transplanting outside.
Sow outdoors: When soil can be worked in the spring
Spacing in beds : Leaf lettuce for continuous harvest: 1.3cm (½in) in bands.
Sow at a seed depth of 6 to 12mm (¼ to ½in) Seed will germinate in 7 to14 days.
The perfect temperature for germination is 4 to 16°C (40 to 60°F) germination rates decline above 20°C (68°F)
Sow seeds in short rows about 30cm (12in) apart. To do this, make a shallow trench with a cane about 1.5cm (½in) deep. 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)
Keep soil just moist. 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.
Harvest as soon as they are big enough for the salad bowl. The harvest is over when a central stem starts to form. This is the signal that the plant is getting ready to bolt, then the leaves will be bitter.
Avoid following radicchio, endive, escarole or artichoke.
Everything, but especially carrot, garlic, onion, and radish.
There are many types of lettuce and many varieties within the basic types. These described below are only some of the more common types
Also known as the Iceberg lettuce, this is a very popular lettuce worldwide. It has a white, crisp densely packed heart. It should be light green and have a springy firm feel. A great lettuce if you plan to use the whole lettuce all at once. The leaves soon lose their crispness in the fridge.
A delicious lettuce with a tender buttery taste. It has an open loose leaf head and compact, crisp hearts. This popular lettuce is no 'supermarket' variety, but rather a proper lettuce with an exquisite flavour unavailable from anywhere but from your own vegetable patch.
This hardy lettuce, originating from the Mediterranean island of Cos, also known as Romaine lettuce, has tall light green leaves with pointed tips, slightly savoyed leaves and a pronounced ribbed structure. The cos lettuce should have a lovely crunchy texture and a light sweet flavour. It is the lettuce of choice for Caesar salads.
- Loose Leaf
Also known as 'leaf' or 'Continental' lettuce, these lettuces do not form heads, rather a mass of loose leafs which can be picked individually as required. They are represented by a great variety of leaves, thick leaves, thin leaves, flat or curled, red or green. The foliage of the leaf lettuce can be an attractive addition to the vegetable garden and the flavour very pleasant.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 1 gram Average Seed Count 800 seeds Seed Form Natural Common Name Baby leaf or for growing to maturity. Family Asteraceae Genus Lactuca Species sativa Hardiness Half Hardy Annual