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Lettuce, Lettuce, Lettuce

June 20th, 2019

Lettuce is probably my favorite vegetalbe to grow and eat. We love salads here at Chiot’s Run and will eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if we can. As a result, I try to have lettuce of various types available for the entire growing season. It has taken me a few years to figure out the best way to go about this, without having too much or not enough. I have found that having fresh transplants every 6-8 weeks is the best method for my garden and climate.


I grow mostly butterhead lettuces that need lots of time to produce their blowsy heads, but I always have romaine and leaf types growing as well to fill in any gaps between the butterheads. For the past few years we’ve been able to eat fresh lettuce from the garden from March through December.

Do you grow lettuce? Do you have a favorite type?

Friday Favorite: Homegrown Lettuce

May 10th, 2019

The longer I garden, the better I get at succession planting. It can be difficult to keep on the correct schedule and to figure out what schedule works for your garden, soil, and climate. For example, I have found that seeding every two weeks it too often for me. The lettuce seems to all come ready at once. When I seed every four weeks, I can have beautiful butterheads for salad all summer long. If there’s a bit of a lull between the lettuce forming heads, I simply harvest the outer leaves.





For me, growing lettuce is one of the greatest joys of edible gardening. There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a row of perfectly formed butterheads, they look like giant roses. If I had to choose one thing to grow in my edible space, it would definitely be lettuce.

Do you grow lettuce? Do you have a favorite variety/type to grow?

The Best Lettuce

June 15th, 2017

This year I’ve managed to grow the best looking lettuce I’ve ever grown. Every time I look at it in the garden I’m happy as can be. Perhaps its the varieties I chose, most of them came from Johnny’s Seeds and are selected for specific traits. The butterhead lettuces are amazing, the Salanovas are sizing up slowly, which is nice because they will hold in the garden while I harvest the other types. Here are the lovely mature lettuces in my garden. Butterheads are my favorite types to eat and to grow. I find them to be stunning both in the garden and in a salad. If I had to choose one variety to grow it would definitely be butterheads. Luckily I don’t have to choose, so I grow all different kinds.








They’re so pretty I almost don’t want to harvest them, luckily I love salad more than I love the look in the garden. My second planting of lettuce will be mature as this batch is eaten up. I should have seeded another flat a week or two ago, but I was traveling and then sick so I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Luckily in the summer there is a bounty of veg from the garden and lettuce takes a back seat to all the heat loving crops.

What’s your favorite type of lettuce?

Getting Better with Time

March 20th, 2017

When it comes to edible gardening, one area I always felt like I struggled a bit was succession planting. ¬†Sometimes I simply forgot to sow the additional seeds, other times my various sowings matured at the same time. Over the past few years, I noticed that it’s starting to become second nature to me and I’ve figured out a few things to make it work for me.

One of the things I learned was that it’s not always a good idea to start something “every two weeks” as the gardening books tell you. If the soil and the temperature is cooler, things grow more slowly and sometimes the later planting will catch up to the early one. Starting additional planting in flats indoors also makes them grow more quickly than those planted outside. If your first planting is just being planted in the garden, transplant shock and cooler temperatures can slow growth rate allowing the indoor seedlings catch up.

Perhaps this is only something that affect us northern gardeners, but after a few years I find that a three or four week schedule is often better than the two weeks most normally recommended. It also makes it easier to manage because I’m not doing it as often. It’s nice to be able to have fresh lettuce throughout spring/summer/fall, which is the main reason I have been trying to improve my success in this area.

Do you plant in succession to have a longer growing season? Do you have any great tips to share? Is this an area you struggle? 

Parade of Lettuces

June 3rd, 2015

I was out looking at the potager yesterday and noticing how beautiful all the lettuces are getting. There’s something so pretty about Batavian and Butterhead lettuces, they almost look like roses. Edible gardens really can be just as beautiful as ornamental gardens, in fact I think they’re more beautiful in some cases. Here’s a parade of some of the lettuces growing in the back potager. I planted 16 different varieties this year and I love each and every one.
parade of lettuces 8
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I really love butterheads and the varieties with red tinged leaves. They’re all just as tasty as they are pretty too!

What’s your favorite kind of lettuce to grow?

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About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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