Lettuce varieties such as Iceberg do well in the cool UK climate. Varieties such as Cos and Butterhead type lettuces are also very popular.
For the home garden we suggest Leaf Lettuces, Cos or Butterheads. Crispheads such as Icebergs tend to bolt and go to seed. And you can pick the other types a leaf at time. We have found that a simple hydroponic system is great for growing lettuce and other salad greens.
Growing lettuce is not difficult, you need cool conditions and plenty of water.
The main types of lettuce are
- Cos (romaine), Cos is a tall lettuce, the head is fairly tight and has lots of flavour,
- Crispheads are the lettuce of supermarkets the iceberg being the most common.
- Leaf Lettuces are the ones we like fro home growing, they mature quickly and types such as the Oakleaf lettuce can be picked bit by bit. Butterheads are smaller than others and have looser and more tender leaves compared to a crisphead.
Seed can be sown in punnets in a greenhouse or cold frame and then transplanted, or you can sow directly. Remember to thin out to give the lettuces room to grow. Leaf lettuce is picked by removing outer leaves as you need them, You can do the same with Cos (romaine) and Butterheads, or you can cut at the base or remove completely.
Cripheads are picked by cutting at the base or removing. If you cut at the base you may get a second flush. Remember, an over mature lettuce is a tough one, so pick when young and fresh, stagger your sowings and consider growing lettuces using a hydroponic system.
To buy seeds and plugs try:
MOUNT FOLLY NURSERIES Hotline Phone Numbers: 01329 832294
Southwick Road North Boarhunt Near Wickham Hants PO17 6JH
Young plants specialists. Growing Fuchsias, Geraniums, Patio Plants and Plug Plants. One of the best selections available in the UK direct from the grower!
DEFLAND NURSERIES LIMITED - tel. 01354 740553
Benwick Road, Doddington March, Cambs. PE15 OTU
Specializing in Organic Plants for Garden Allotments. Vegetable, Salad, Herb, Strawberry and Ornamental Plants