Thursday, 16 June 2011


I was wondering today how many people still grow lettuce in straight rows. When I started this particular garden five years ago lettuce was one of the first crops that I decided was more effectively grown in containers or simply dotted about the plot. As I mostly grow loose-leaf types this is easy but I even have cos and other hearting types growing in pots or interspersed among other veg.

Lollo rossa, my favourite. It looks like a plant pot with an afro haircut!
Webbs wonderful. You can just pick the leaves or wait for it to heart up
Endives. Not quite lettuce but close enough
Romaine Ballon. A huge cos type lettuce with heads weighing up to two pounds (1kg)
As well as the varieties shown above I also grow Winter Density and A.Y.R. for use in the colder months. Some of these survived last winter in the unheated greenhouse when outside temps dipped to -18 and then they perked up in February to give us a very early crop. 

I tend to eat a little bit most days, either in a sandwich for lunch or as a garnish. The loose-leaf types are much better for this as you can just keep picking off leaves over a long period so you don't have to sow more than you need. I have a strong suspicion that more lettuce gets wasted than gets eaten because people sow far more than they can cope with. Sowing individual seeds is a bit of a faff as they are quite small but it's quite easy with a bit of practice and if you grow in pots it's the only way.

Here's another interesting fact. When I was a young chap I went out with a student nurse called Lettuce. I wonder if she grows her own veg?


  1. Your lettuce look very healthy - I agree about not growing them in rows any more - they are handy for filling in spaces. I prefer crispy lettuce as the softer salad leaves tend to get stuck in the back of my throat, but they look prettier.

  2. Straight lines? LOL! Have you seen my plot, nothing's in a straight line! They might be in lines, but they're certainly not straight ;>) Certainly grow more than I need, but if you thin them out you get some nice baby leaf lettuce.