Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Lettuce Mix

This mixture is composed of four lettuce varieties: two leaf and two headed types. The beauty of this mix is its dynamism. While we primarily grow and harvest the plants for bagged lettuce, it's possible to sow seeds a bit thicker, harvest the leaf varieties, and keep the romaine types for full sized heads. It's a good all-season selection, due to the staggered growth rates of the specific varieties: the faster growing Black Seeded Simpson and Red Sails are perfect for early harvests in the summer (but grab them fast, because they bolt quicker in the heat), while the romaines get their time to mature for full head harvests. During cooler seasons, the leaf varieties are slower to bolt and can be harvested for full sized heads, while the romaines work excellently for baby leaf harvests.

Seeds are certified organic.

Size: Packet: 500 seeds (0.75 gram), OG

This mixture is composed of four lettuce varieties: two leaf and two headed types. The beauty of this mix is its dynamism. While we primarily grow and harvest the plants for bagged lettuce, it's possible to sow seeds a bit thicker, harvest the leaf varieties, and keep the romaine types for full sized heads. It's a good all-season selection, due to the staggered growth rates of the specific varieties: the faster growing Black Seeded Simpson and Red Sails are perfect for early harvests in the summer (but grab them fast, because they bolt quicker in the heat), while the romaines get their time to mature for full head harvests. During cooler seasons, the leaf varieties are slower to bolt and can be harvested for full sized heads, while the romaines work excellently for baby leaf harvests.

Seeds are certified organic.

Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is one of the easier vegetables to grow, and nothing is quite like a salad of fresh-from-the-garden lettuce.

There are a few different types of lettuce that are all essentially grown the same way: butterhead; cos (romaine); loose-leaf; iceberg. Lettuce is considered a tender annual that grows seed to seed in one growing season. Some varieties may tolerate a light frost, but a hard freeze will certainly kill lettuce. It is fast growing, producing quite quickly in the right conditions. Lettuce prefers evenly moist, fertile soil and full sun in all but the hottest conditions. Partial shade is ideal if you're attempting to grow it in the heat of the summer in hot climes. Lettuce doesn't demand highly fertile soil, but if nutrients are available – especially nitrogen – lettuce will grow faster, be less prone to pest predation & disease, and some would say be more delicious.

Our favorite way to grow lettuce is to start the seeds indoors (or in a greenhouse) in multi-celled flats. Lettuce is probably the easiest vegetable to transplant, and shows little if any transplant shock. Sow 3-5 seeds per cell if you plan to thin out close-growing seedlings (as we do), or 2-3 seeds per cell if you desire a single plant per cell to plant out. Lettuce seeds are light-dependent germinators, so sow those seeds just barely under the surface of the soil, making sure to not let the soil surface dry out at all during germination.

When lettuce seedlings are 2-3 inches tall, transplant them into well-loosened garden soil that has been amended with finished compost or a broad-spectrum organic fertilizer. If you plan to be readily harvesting a lot of lettuce (as we do here), the starts can be tucked together pretty tight: 4-6" apart for romaine (tall head); 6-8" apart for the others (spreading habit). As the lettuce grows up, thin 1-2 plants from a cluster of 3-4 (all from a single cell, remember). This way of planting lettuce allows for an early harvest or two of not-quite-mature thinnings, and leaves a final plant or two in each space to grow to maturity now with more elbow room from the thinning! We're able to harvest a full bag of chopped lettuce for 25 CSA members every week for more than a month from 200 sq. ft! Brilliant!

If you plan on growing only a small handful of lettuce plants, it may be beneficial to give the starts a bit more space (8-10" apart) that will allow them to breathe a bit, and have more root-space, water and nutrients to grow healthfully to maturity and beyond. It's also a good idea to space the plants farther apart if you live in a humid/rainy climate – good air circulation is essential to avoiding disease in lettuce crops. Lettuce likes ample water, especially if it's growing in hot temps. If the soil is allowed to dry out, the lettuce leaves will become dry and lose their crispy texture and sweet flavor. On the flipside, you don't want to overwater lettuce either, which will influence rot and disease. Your watering interval will depend on many factors: sun exposure, soil type/texture, weather, etc. – you'll just have to experiment and observe.

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