This year we grew Mantilla Buttercrunch lettuce, Arrowhead lettuce, New Zealand spinach and Kale. Talk about delicious! There’s nothing quite like home grown lettuce, and it’s super easy to grow! Plant the seed, water, then Viola! Green luscious leaves ready to eat!
They are a spring crop and love the cool weather. But with a little work you can grow it all year long! The key is to start it early and sow it often!
SPRING GREENS: I started my lettuce this year in March with row covers to keep the light freezes from damaging my leaves, but quickly lifted the cover once temperatures were above 50. You can also start your greens earlier if you start them indoors, given they have a good amount of natural or artificial lighting. Keep an eye on your green beauties and eat often! They can get bitter and tough if left out to long. Once you’ve eaten a plant cut it back to let it grow again OR remove the whole plant and re-seed. (I don’t have much experiences with cutting it and letting it grow back, I’ve read that head lettuces don’t grow back but the leafy ones do! So this year I’m trying it out with the Arrowhead.)
SUMMER GREENS: When the heat of summer comes, the plants can quickly bolt and get tough so I’ll try and position my greens in the shade of bigger plants, like corn, tomatoes, peppers, beans or any other bigger bushier plants you have growing. There are also different varieties of lettuces that are better suited for really hot climats, here is a couple different sites that list a few varieties and tips: Utah State Extensions, University of Illinois Extention, The Washington Post, and NC State.
*Also, water often but remember the plants have shallow ends, so they don’t need a ton of it!
FALL GREENS: Once summer ends and the cool weather drifts back in watch for temperatures and cover when temperatures go below 50 degrees.
WINTER GREENS: As soon as winter sets in you’ll need to move your plants into a green house or indoors! But they will grow happily as long as they have enough light, warmth and food!