Lollo Bionda lettuce forms a beautiful round mound of pale green, crisp frilled edged leaves. Appreciated for its unique shape and refreshing taste, it holds well in summer heat and in the cold. It makes an attractive complement to Lollo Rossa.
Lollo Bionda, for which you pay premium prices for in the supermarket, is one of the easiest, trouble free lettuces you can grow. It's a cut-and-come-again, that is, if you pick the outer leaves, the plant will continue to grow. Given the right conditions, this type of lettuce will produce leaves for three months or more.
Lettuce is by far the most popular of the leaf salad vegetables, and belongs to the same family as chicory and endive. It has a long history in the kitchen with images on ancient Egyptian tombstones dating from 4500 BC. Definitely a "Heritage Variety" ! The Romans also ate a lot of lettuce and by the 1st century AD, nine varieties were described, perhaps one was Lollo Bionda
Lollo Bionda lettuce has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
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.
- Additional Information
Packet Size 2.5 grams Average Seed Count 2,250 Seeds Seeds per gram 900 seeds per gram Common Name Green Continental, Curly Lettuce Family Asteraceae Genus Lactuca Species sativa var. crispa Cultivar Lollo Bionda Hardiness Hardy Annual Time to Harvest 48 days to Harvest