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Vegetable Gardening: Lettuce recommendations?

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Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


May 22, 2013
8:27 AM

Post #9529656

I have a part-shady spot that I'd like to devote to lettuces this summer and fall. (Yeah, I'm a little late getting started, but we had frost advisories a couple weeks ago, so my veg patch is definitely behind schedule.)

I'd like recommendations for varieties that:

1. taste great;
2. look great; and
3. are disease resistant

And either slow-bolting or cold-hardy.

We aren't picky, but I'm not sure crisp icebergs can survive our summer heat. We love romaines and any/all good loose leaf and batavians. I have a very soft spot for butterheads, because my grandmother always favored them and served them with a buttermilk dressing.

I've had moderate success with 'Red Sails' (in fact, it self-seeded among my strawberries and is finally big enough to start clipping some leaves), and so-so luck with the heirlooms (Black-seeded Simpson, Drunken Woman, Deer's Tongue, etc.)

So...suggestions please; anything from heirloom to brand-new. I'd like to get several types going ASAP, and succession plant until Iate fall, then switch to spinach and see how long we can go into the cold months.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

May 22, 2013
8:57 AM

Post #9529702

Terry, I think you should probably wait until fall unless you are just experimenting for fun. My lettuce is already bolted and gone. Iceberg bolted first as soon as the temp crept about 75 for a couple of days (never mind the cold ones!) Then the leaf lettuces got bitter.

The romaine held out the longest with good taste to the end. I got it in a seed swap so I don't know the variety, but it was probably "Green Towers."

Getting decent lettuce was probably the only good thing about this crazy spring!

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


May 22, 2013
9:08 AM

Post #9529717

Thanks Nicole, it is kind of "just for fun" and to fill the space so weeds don't flourish. I'm willing to risk a few seeds since our spring weather was so wonky, who knows? We might have a less-than-scorching summer. Then again...it is the midsouth :-) But nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'd like to get in an order or snag some locally while there is still a decent selection to be had.
JoParrott
Richland, WA
(Zone 7b)

May 22, 2013
11:48 AM

Post #9529938

terry, I say go for it! I have been contradicting mother nature all my gardening life(over 50 years)- sometime I win, sometime I lose, but there is no better satisfaction than to beat the odds! Just yesterday I took 8 packages of lettuce seeds, all leftovers, opened them up, put them in a baggie and shook- then sowed them out in some empty spaces in my strawberry pyramid. It will be such fun to see what comes up- a saled mix already made! This time of year you will have to be on alert for aphids & spider mites as well as worms-yuk!
Off topic- How about the finale of Dancing With The Stars-I loved it- !!!
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

May 22, 2013
12:31 PM

Post #9529978

I grew my first lettuce this year with great success, I realized we don't eat much lettuce, my neighbors don't eat much lettuce( on either side), my grown Kids don't eat much lettuce. Needless to say next year I will not plant nearly as much lettuce. I noticed this post because I just pulled up my first crop today, it was starting to bolt so into the compost pile it went, I do still have a second crop, but it is getting very tall and it will soon be done even before we start eating on it. I grew a mixture of seeds from Burpee I bought at Lowe's. It had about four different types of leaf lettuce including some red type. They all did well, I personally could not tell one from the other when mixed in a salad.
1lisac
Liberty Hill, TX
(Zone 8a)

May 22, 2013
2:13 PM

Post #9530115

I would try a blend or mix that way if somethings don't germinate you will never know.

Terry

Terry
Murfreesboro, TN
(Zone 7a)


May 22, 2013
3:28 PM

Post #9530218

I'm leaning toward trying Anuenue, Jericho and/or Crawford and Cherokee for color.

For fall sowing, I'm looking at some endives and Winter Density, Oscarde and maybe Breen or Pomegranate Crunch.

Anyone try those and/or have other recommendations?
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 26, 2013
5:47 PM

Post #9535097

I'd not waste space on lettuce planted now. Mine was planted in March and is already bolting with the hot, then cool days but never headed or made much salad greens. I grew around twenty types and none did well. In the past my favorites have been the small headed buttercrunches. Black Seeded Simpson, Oakleaf and a number of the reds, especially Rouge de Grenoble or Red Sails, do well if you don't mind that the leaves on all those varieties are thin and don't hold well in storage. I skip lettuce in the fall other than to grow for seed. The plants can survive with adequate attention but it is too dry to produce succulent leaves.

Maybe bush cukes for the ground space would work?
etnredclay
Spring City, TN

May 28, 2013
7:10 AM

Post #9536763

Terry, I'm east of you, north of Chattanooga, and my lettuces are 2' tall -- unreal growing season. I planted out April 1st and have had a huge salad every day since then. Any sandwhich I've had for 2 months has had a big inch of lettuce on it as well. This cool weather has been GREAT for salad greens. My rainbow Swiss Chard and Spinach are also nearly that tall. The only thing that bolted on me was the Arugula, which was a first and last for me, didn't care for it.

I'm growing:
Red Sails
Black Seeded Simpson
Black Seeded Simpson Elite
Romaine Paris White
Romaine Cos
Buttercrunch

They were getting munched on early spring, flea beetles I think. But nothing since one light dusting of DE.

I due put black greenhouse mesh over bent pvc pipe any time the temps are going to be near 80. You can get that as dog kennel shade mesh, too.

So if I were starting now, and just for fun, I'd go buy what seeds I could find, selection is getting skimpy, and try them. Keep records and have fun.
nancynursez637
Madras, OR

July 20, 2013
9:14 PM

Post #9606673

Black seeded simpson elite, salad bowl and Michele, occ some red iceberg, because I love teh crunch, but Michele is very crisp
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

July 21, 2013
9:02 AM

Post #9607025

Terry, Skyphos butterhead from Stokes bests the rest in my opinion.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 21, 2013
8:03 PM

Post #9607792

for me nothing beats buttercrunch or any of the butterhead lettuces as well as romaine. They are very hardy as well. Even up north in my area I transplant them out in early March and they do great.

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