Lettuce ‘Gustav's Salad’ is a highly refined, gourmet butterhead with a down home back history. This compact, silky soft, butterhead lettuce is excellent in so many dishes. A sweet and buttery lettuce, this is a new staple in the salad garden, reliable and next level eating quality.
Quick to mature, this heirloom butterhead variety has a delicious melt-in-the-mouth flavour. Upright, small and compact- perfect for growing where space might be limited.
This heirloom originates from the Southern Dutch isles, grown by a local man, Gustav kept a small garden and delivered his signature lettuce variety in the basket of his bicycle, he offered it in his small town for over 40 years. We are grateful that this man always allowed a small portion of the lettuce patch to go to seed so he could preserve the variety.
He also shared his lettuce seeds with the locals and five years after his death in 2005, his daughter was given some of her father's lettuce, it was delicious. A seed grower heard about Gustav's story and set about bringing his lettuce to the market. A truly delicious, sweet and buttery lettuce, kept alive for years by Gustav, now his memory is kept alive by the tastiest of lettuces.
Prepare the site:
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: Feb to Mar (Plant outside in April) Directly outdoors: Mar to Aug.
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.
Harvesting:Harvest April to October - 72 days to maturity
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, which is the signal that the plant is getting ready to bolt and the leaves will be bitter.
The butterhead's are not a regimented, orderly lettuce: each will have its own unique appearance and character. 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.
Avoid following radicchio, endive, escarole or artichoke.
All brassicas (except broccoli, but especially radishes), beat, carrot, cucumber, onion family, pole lima bean, strawberry
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 2 grams Average Seed Count 2,000 Seeds Seed Form Natural, White Seeded Seeds per gram 1,000 seeds per gram Common Name Butterhead Lettuce.
Heritage variety (1960's)
Family Asteraceae Genus Lactuca Species sativa var capitata Cultivar Gustav's Salad Hardiness Hardy Annual Soil The crop will do well in average garden soil. Ideally aim for a pH of less than 6.5 Season Ideal growing temperature: 16 to 18°C (60 to 65°F) Time to Sow Under protection: Sept to March (Plant out April) Outside: Mar to Aug Germination 7 to 10 days - at 4 to 16°C (40 to 60°F) Harvest Harvest April to October - 72 days to maturity Time to Harvest All Year Round (with cloche/coldframe in winter)