Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
Days to Maturity: 21–58 days
Family: Organic, Heirloom
Hardiness: Unknown; lettuce has been in cultivation for a long time.
Variety Information: BUTTERHEAD: ‘BUTTERCRUNCH’: Soft, slightly crumpled light green leaves in a loose head, often with a creamy yellow core. LEAF LETTUCES: ‘BLACK SEEDED SIMPSON’: Crinkled, light green, crisp leaves with frilly edges. ‘GREEN SALAD BOWL’: Deeply lobed green leaves. ‘LOLLA ROSA’: Deeply curled leaves with very frilly, red edges. ‘RED OAK LEAF’: Medium green, deeply lobed, oak leaf-shaped leaves, mild flavor, slower to bolt. ROMAINE: ‘ROUGE d’HIVER’: Green leaves are tinged with reddish-brown; rich, buttery flavor.
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 4 to 6 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: When seedlings emerge, the first pair of leaves to show are the cotyledons, which can look very different from the leaves that follow, called “true” leaves. Baby greens are ready to harvest when they have true leaves, at 2″–4″. Slow growers, or cool growing temperatures may require more time. Harvest by cutting just above the soil line. For more than one harvest (up to 3 before flavor declines) leave about 1/2″ of leafy growth on the small plants so they can regenerate.