While they are generally mild tasting, some varieties have more of a sweet flavor. Type Looseleaf (10) Blend (1) Heirloom Yes (3) Organic Yes (3) Burpee Exclusive Yes (5) Looseleaf Lettuce. You can also try growing other salad bowl favorites, such as spinach, arugula (Astro is a variety that does well indoors) and mesclun. Leaf lettuce: Plant 4 inches apart. Loose leaf lettuce is one of the simplest lettuces to grow in home gardens and the type grown by most home gardeners. They have loose open heads with ruffly tops and crisp stems. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Loose Leaf Lettuce Varieties to Sow for Fall Drunken Woman a loose-leaf lettuce that’s great for a fall garden. No need to register, buy now! Add in large amounts of compost and even a bit of sand to your planting area to help build in fertility and good drainage. Far from the shrink-wrapped iceberg lettuce we all know so wellperfectly round and crunchy, almost all water, and able to last a long time after harvestthe multitude of lettuce varieties available at the grocery store and farmers markets offer a wide range of textures, colors, and flavors. Tolerates light frost. Red fire lettuce -- green at the stem and light red at the tips -- is crisp and fresh in texture and flavor, and is resistant to bolting and disease. With a crisp but tender texture and mild, slightly nutty flavor, mature ‘Tom Thumb’ heads are the perfect size to make a delicious side salad for two people. ‘Green Ice’ is a vigorous grower, and will provide multiple harvests of crunchy greens. longifolia) is a familiar sight in the lettuce world. You can find seeds in various packet sizes available at True Leaf Market. Their large, broad leaves are sometimes flat with frilled edges, and sometimes extremely savoyed, or frilly, as is the case with the ‘Lollo Rosso’ cultivar. Line platters or bowls, layer in sandwiches for a delicious crunch and, of course, they make delicious salads. You can buy packets of 500 ‘Dynamite’ seeds from Burpee. Alternatively, start harvesting outer leaves after 40-50 days. With large, crumpled leaves that are green at the base and give way to deep red edges, ‘Red Sails’ has a soft texture, and a sweet, mild flavor. It’s heat resistant, thriving even in the warmer months. Brace yourself. Instead of a generic looking and tasting salad, you can make something interesting to eat and look at. A distinct type of loose leaf lettuce, oak leaf has a subtle flavor similar to regular loose leaf, but with smaller, deeply lobed leaves. Kristina considers it a point of pride that she spends more money on seeds each year than she does on clothes. Life Cycle. Crisphead varieties like iceberg may be fairly subtle taste-wise but boy do they have amazing texture, particularly when shredded. Lettuce is a cool-weather crop and easy to grow yourself, but most types are available year-round at the local grocer. The red compounds in vegetables such as red crispheads contain anthocyanins, which have multiple health benefits according to studies such as this one in Food and Nutrition Research by H. E. Khoo and fellow authors. Emerald green outer leaves enclose a pale green heart. Does this sound exotic and interesting? With tightly bunched 12 to 16-inch leaves and a 6-inch-wide head, you’ll be able to feef Caesar’s army with this variety. There are three main types of lettuce: crisphead, butterhead, and looseleaf. They’re best cut as individual leaves and are great for salads and making wilted lettuce. Some sources suggest that this variety has been cultivated in the US since the 1700s, but the ‘Cimarron’ we know today was actually brought to market in 1991 by Dorsing Seeds in Oregon. Introduced to the market in 1957 by the USDA in Beltsville, Maryland, ‘Ruby’ was an All-America Selections Winner in the edible vegetable category in 1958. Lettuce plants can have taproots or … These are the most forgiving type of lettuce, and also the ones that provide a yield the quickest, so you can eat salads from your garden sooner rather than later. How to Grow Lettuce From Seed in Containers, University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow, Center for Food Safety: Types of Leafy Greens. However it is officially classified, it is like a cross between a butterhead lettuce and a romaine. Disliking the heat, it has a tendency to bolt in warmer weather. Described in the UK as a “semi-cos,” this variety resembles a small butterhead lettuce, but there is some disagreement among gardeners about how to classify it. Commonly known as cabbage or round lettuce, this prized lettuce is utterly mild, crispy, … ‘Paris White’ is a French heirloom variety brought to the US by Thomas Jefferson, and grown at his garden at Monticello. This bolt-resistant variety prefers cool weather and will tolerate a light frost. The 8- to 10-inch lightly ruffled leaves form a rosette shape, and are tender and delicate with a mild flavor. Type Of Lettuce For Salad. Jamie Malone has always been passionate about writing and decided to pursue the craft professionally in 2009. Soft, overlapping, crumpled leaves form a dense, rounded shape. Loose leaf lettuce: This type of lettuce comprises a number of varieties that don’t form heads, but consist of large, loosely packed leaves joined at a stem. Fast-growing, ‘Black Seeded Simpson’ matures in just 40-50 days, although you can start harvesting even earlier for baby greens. This variety produces dense 8- to 12-inch heads with serrated outer leaves and a tight, crunchy heart. Crisp and flavorful, ‘Little Gem’ grows happily in full sun or partial shade, and prefers cool weather. Miscellaneous . Add to Wishlist Quick View. Romaine Lettuce. Leaf lettuce has flat leaves that are connected at the stalk, rather than clustered in a head. Loose leaf lettuce types do not form hearts but rather have leaves loosely arranged around a centre. You can find seeds for ‘Ruby’ in a variety of packet sizes at Eden Brothers. There are two classes of head lettuce: the butterhead types, such as Bibb lettuce, with soft heads of thick oily-textured leaves, and crisphead types, such as iceberg lettuce, with brittle-textured leaves that form very hard heads under proper temperature conditions. Butterhead lettuce looks different from the other types of lettuce because its leaves are more spread out and have a more grassy appearance. With a nutty, mildly bitter flavor, ‘Lollo Rosso’ matures in 55-60 days with 6- to 8-inch loose-leaf heads. It is relatively tolerant of hot weather and can be grown for either baby leaf or full-size heads. 13 of the Best Carrot Varieties to Grow at Home, Reel It In! The 12-inch leaves have a crisp, succulent texture and deliciously sweet flavor. Romaine lettuce grows to a long head of sturdy leaves with a stout rib almost reaching to the tip of the leaf-blade. 7 of the Best Garden Hose Reels, How to Choose the Best Lighting for Your Garden, Scaling it Down with Jessica Walliser’s Gardener’s Guide to Compact Plants, Good Riddance, Rodents: Say Hello to Gopher Plant. It’s also fast to mature and can be snipped for mesclun only a few weeks after seeding. When it comes to choosing seeds, some varieties are better suited to indoor growing. With slightly ruffled, bright green leaves, this heirloom cultivar was first introduced to the US by Peter Henderson and Company in the 1870s. An heirloom variety hailing from the country formerly known as Yugoslavia, this cultivar was introduced to the US in 1987 by the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. Maturing in just 40 days, ‘Oakleaf’ is cold tolerant and heat resistant, providing a bountiful harvest throughout the growing season. Leaf Lettuce Looseleaf is fast growing, early & widely adaptable to growing conditions on highlands and lowlands. This is a soft, tasty lettuce with a buttery texture. The loose, rounded heads mature to be 10-12 inches in diameter, and the outer leaves can be harvested earlier in the season as a cut-and-come-again crop. The broad, tender leaves of butterheads form a loose head, making it easy to harvest leaves as needed in the garden, cut-and-come-again style. Space seeds 6" apart so you can cut individual leaves at any stage and the plants will keep producing. capitata) come in a selection of green and red shades, and most varieties are moderately heat tolerant. Romaine can be found in varieties that are green, red, bronze, or speckled. Cos and loose-headed types: Plant 8 inches apart. There are five distinct types of lettuce: leaf (also called loose-leaf lettuce), Cos or romaine, crisphead, butterhead and stem (also called asparagus lettuce). The plants can be spaced much closer together in the garden (4-6 inches (10-15 cm.)) Loose leaf lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is a popular option for the home garden with multiple varieties from which to choose. Let’s take a tour of some of the best varieties of lettuce. A vigorous grower, ‘Grand Rapids’ has bright green, crinkled leaves with frilly edges. Influenced by the many years that I spent living in France, when I eat salad as a side dish, I usually want it to be fairly simple – just lettuce with some oil and vinegar, that’s it. She is a Certified Permaculture Designer and a Building Biology Environmental Consultant, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Some varieties are very hardy—surviving down to ten degrees in my garden—while others are exceptionally heat tolerant, practically refusing to bolt. By removing the outer leaves as needed, you can continue to harvest lettuce throughout the growing season. If youre the health-minded sort, a good rule of thumb is the darker the leaf, the more nutritious the lettuce. This green cultivar is heat resistant, bolt resistant, and is mature and ready to harvest in 80-90 days. Find seeds in a variety of packet sizes from Eden Brothers. I’ve included some popular choices for you to choose from, as well as some lesser-known cultivars. Native. To harvest your crop, you can choose to remove the whole plant, or cut the outer leaves as the plants grow. Soft, green, crinkled leaves form compact heads in just 50-60 days. They might remind you of ornamental asters – and for good reason, as these plants are members of the Asteraceae or aster family. Iceberg Lettuce. Iceberg; Butterhead; Loose Leaf; Stem; Romaine; Of these five types of lettuce, which can be considered head lettuce? Varieties of this type of lettuce come in shades of yellow, green, red, bronze, and burgundy. It’s fairly easy to find romaine in the supermarket – but usually only the green variety. However, loose leaf lettuce can be grown during most of the season if you select varieties that are heat-tolerant. With its glossy green, frilly leaves, ‘Green Ice’ has the crunch of a crisphead with the ruffled look of a loose-leaf. Although crisphead is the least nutritious, all lettuces provide dietary fiber and vitamins A, C and K. The average lettuce has less than 10 calories per shredded cup! Looseleaf lettuce is a type of lettuce that forms no head. ‘Igloo’ has a mild flavor, a crisp crunch, and a mature head size of 8-12 inches. Not as heat tolerant as some of the other varieties described above, it’s best planted in a full sun location in fall or early spring. ‘Iceberg’ is sometimes pooh-poohed for its low nutritional value, but red crisphead varieties will bring a bit of added nutrition along with their crunch. If you want to add ‘Grand Rapids’ to your garden, seeds are available in a variety of packet sizes at Eden Brothers. You can find packets of 1,000 seeds available at Burpee. It comes to maturity in 70 days, however you can pick younger leaves after 50 days. Frequently found in shades of green or red, there are also bronze-colored cultivars. You can find seeds in a variety of packet sizes available at True Leaf Market. You can find seeds for ‘Prizehead’ in packets of various sizes at Eden Brothers. Red leaf, green leaf, and oak leaf are all examples of leaf lettuce. This heirloom variety was grown in the late 1800s by Eugene Davis, a farmer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who propagated it in a greenhouse. Quick to prepare, simply snap them off at the base of the stem, and they’re plate-ready (after a quick rinse, of course). It was first officially documented in 1885 by the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, and is thought to have been brought to the US by English settlers in the mid-18th century. Find seed packets of various sizes from True Leaf Market. Have you ever noticed what the flowers look like when your lettuce goes to seed? Give growing lettuce regular water, spraying roots whenever they are dry. Introduced in 1771 by the French seed company Vilmorin-Andrieux, ‘Oakleaf’ has green, lobed leaves with a delicate, tender texture and sweet, mild flavor. Consider planting rows of chives or garlic between your lettuce to control aphids. ‘Bronze Mignonette’ prefers a full sun location, and will tolerate a light frost. Looseleaf lettuce seeds are fast-growing and won’t form tight heads. In cool climates, plant in full sun; plant in partial shade in warmer climates. In 1871, Henry A. Dreer, a seed purveyor from Philadelphia, brought it to market with the name ‘Hanson.’. This group includes green oak leaf, red oak leaf, valeria, and lolla-rosa-types. The leaves are either green or shaded to deep red at the edges, and may be ruffled or smooth. Romaine lettuce grows in elongated heads. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Sunset Western Garden Book of Edibles; Jim McCausland. Summer Crisp/Batavia: As the name implies, summer crisp is the ideal choice for summer lettuce. The delicate, crisp leaves have a sweet and mild flavor. Its best to purch… Sweet and juicy in flavor, this lettuce is also resistant to disease. To grow lettuce with the “cut and come again method,” it is best to start with loose leaf varieties like mesclun in a variety of colors, flavors and textures. Look for loose-leaf varieties, such as Baby Oakleaf, Tom Thumb and Black-Seeded Simpson. Leaf lettuce has flat leaves that are connected at the stalk, rather than clustered in a head. Maturity. Looseleaf is a term assigned to a great many varieties of lettuce which can be sorted according to their traits. Most soil types but best if it's moisture retentive with some dug in compost. The large … Originally from the temperate suburbs of North Carolina, she enjoys discovering ways to meet a climate challenge. These varieties mature faster than heading lettuces. The Midnight Ruffles Lettuce has extra crinkled leaves that gets its name for being one of the darkest red loose leaf lettuces around! Most of the leafy greens we put in our salad bowls are varieties of Latuca sativa. Lack of water can stunt growth and give the lettuce a bitter taste. An All-America Selections Winner in the edible vegetable category in 1963, ‘Buttercrunch’ was first introduced by Cornell University. With green, curly leaves on the outside and a crisp white heart, this variety is also known as ‘Ewing’s Excelsior,’ ‘Gardener’s Favorite,’ and ‘King of the Market.’. Space seeds 6" apart so you can cut individual leaves at any stage and the plants will keep producing. They are not loose leafed. And when you pick a crisphead variety to grow in the backyard, you have a number of choices. Loose leaf types tend to be slow to bolt and heat tolerant, lasting longer into the summer than heading lettuces. With diminutive 3- to 5-inch heads, the English variety ‘Tom Thumb’ is ideal for smaller gardens or container growing. You can buy seeds in a variety of packet sizes from Eden Brothers. Plant loose-leaf lettuce in well-drained soil 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Consider for a moment that perhaps this lettuce would be a great team player in meals where its crisp texture can really shine. You can find packets of 500 seeds available at Burpee. ‘Deer Tongue,’ one of my favorite cultivars, is an heirloom variety with arrowhead-shaped leaves that are delicate and delicious. There are four main types of lettuce: crisphead (commonly known as iceberg), romaine, loose-leaf and butterhead. Color and leaf shape are common methods of distinguishing between varieties of leaf lettuces. Loose leaf lettuces are particularly easy and quick to grow. It reaches maturity and is ready to harvest in 40-50 days. Probably one of the best known varieties of butterhead lettuce, ‘Bibb’ is named after John B. Bibb, an army officer during the War of 1812. This variety is moderately heat resistant, and will tolerate a light frost, making it a versatile addition to your garden. If you’re a high-end chef and you’re ready to take your salads to the … You can find ‘Bronze Guard’ in seed packets of various sizes from True Leaf Market. Growing to a mature height of 8-12 inches in 70 days, the leaves have a sweet flavor. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of California State University, San Marcos as a literature and writing major. Let us know in the comments. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Romaine Lettuce. You just plant it, water it, harvest it and eat it! Kristina loves the challenges of dryland gardening and teaching others to use climate compatible gardening techniques, and she strives towards creating gardens where there are as many birds and bees as there are edibles. This slow-growing variety matures in 75-85 days. It has a sweet flavor and is very rich so … For fall harvest of loose leaf lettuce in Nebraska, sow seeds in late July to early August. The beauty of planting loose leaf varieties is twofold. Their degree of crispness is midway between romaine and butterhead, their taste is mild and delicate. Like other loose leaf types, oak leaf lettuces tend to be heat tolerant and bolt resistant. For this reason, GardenZeus recommends that you do not harvest your loose leaf lettuce until you are ready to use it. Perfect grown as baby leaves, giving up to four ‘cuts’, or equally good grown out as more mature leaf lettuces. You can find seeds in a variety of packet sizes available at Eden Brothers. Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. Romaine lettuce does best when provided higher fertility than loose-leaf types require. Introduced by the Ferry-Morse Seed Company in 1951, ‘Parris Island’ is a cross between the imaginatively named ‘PI120965’ and ‘Dark Green Cos,’ and was developed by the Agricultural Experiment Station at Clemson College. 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