The first of the "cut and come again" types to arrive in our gardens. Salad Bowl forms bright green serrated leaves from large heads and gives a different texture to salads. Lettuce is one of the most popular ingredients to go into most salads. So why not make yours more exciting by using your own fresh and crunchy salad leaves.
WHEN TO SOWEnd of February to July
Where to SowSowings can be made under glass, sow seeds into pots or trays of seed sowing compost at a temperature of 15-20C, and lightly cover seeds with a sprinkling of vermiculite or compost. Alternatively, sow seeds from April thinly along rows 1.5cm (1/2in) deep and 30cm (12in) apart direct in the vegetable plot.
What to do nextSowings made under glass can be pricked out into individual pots or module trays and grown on until ready to harden off and plant out into the vegetable plot 30cm (12in) apart between the plants and the rows. Seedlings sown directly outside can be thinned once large enough to handle to 30cm (12in) apart. Thinnings can also be transplanted into other rows, watered in well during hot dry spells.
MATURITY10-12 weeks from sowing
When sowing as a 'cut and come again', sow every 2-3 weeks for a succession of fresh leaves all season.
NUTRITIONAL VALUEA good source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C as well as vitamin K.
Lettuce seeds can be sown in modules. seed trays or direct into the growing site and thinned to the required spacings as soon as possible. Rows should be about 30cm apart and the seeds sown 1cm deep. Small lettuces can be spaced at 15-20cm distances, whilst large crispheads will need 30-35cm. Regular watering is essential, especially the 7-10 days before maturity. Lettuces mature quickly, butterheads at about 10 weeks and crisphead and cos types at around 14 weeks. They will not stand for more than 5-7 days once mature before running to seed, so successful successional sowing or the use of the "cut and come again" types is required. Sowings begin in February under glass at 15°C followed by outdoor sowings under cloches until late autumn. Sowings for overwinter production uses cloches and glasshouses. Germination difficulties may be experienced in July and August as lettuce seeds will go into dormancy if sown in very hot weather.