Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
Days to Maturity: 21–45 days
Native: Unknown; lettuce has been in cultivation for a long time.
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annuals
Plant Dimensions: Leaves are harvested at 4″–6″ tall for mesclun.
Variety Information: ALL ARE LEAF LETTUCES: ‘TANGO’: Deep green, serrated leaves, mildly tangy. ‘ROYAL OAK LEAF’: Medium green, deeply lobed, oak leaf shaped leaves, mild flavor, slower to bolt. ‘RED SALAD BOWL’: Pretty, deeply lobed green and bronze/red leaves. ‘BLACK SEEDED SIMPSON’: Crinkled, light green, crisp leaves with frilly edges. ‘GRAND RAPIDS TBR’: Medium green, curled leaves with frilled edges. ‘RED SAILS’: Dark red, crinkled leaves with frilly edges, slower to bolt, an All-America Selections winner.
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 40°F, ideally 60°–70°F. Successive Sowings: Every 3 weeks until 2 weeks before your average first fall frost date. Mild Climates: Sow in fall and winter for cool season harvests.
When to Start Inside: Transplanting is not recommended, although mesclun can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights.
Days to Emerge: 5–14 days
Seed Depth: Surface to ⅛”
Seed Spacing: Broadcast about ½” apart
Thinning: Not required for baby greens
Harvesting: Harvest leaves with scissors 2″ above the soil surface. Mesclun will regrow and provide 2–3 harvests, although the first harvest is usually the best. If you wish to harvest mature heads, cut off at 2″ above ground level as soon as possible after head forms; new leaves will grow form the center. The earlier the harvest, the more tender the crop.