Grow a garden filled with large, green heads of Iceberg Lettuce, from freshly harvested Lactuca sativa seeds. Iceberg Lettuce is an heirloom variety, which dates back to the late 1890's. It's crisp leaves range in colors from dark green to light green, sometimes turning almost white as you reach the center. This variety is excellent for salads & fresh burgers, and is one of the most popular selections for many produce markets, & supermarkets alike. It mixes well with Romain, carrots, cabbage and other salad, crop additives. The plants will mature in a matter of 75 days, producing large, 8 to 10 inch, round heads.
Lettuce has been cultivated for decades, even dating back to ancient times. In Egypt, paintings can be found on the pyramid walls, depicting it's use as an edible weed. Iceberg is of course one of the most popular varieties available in many produce markets and supermarkets. However, new varieties have been popping up for years, adding additional flavors and textures to salads.
Lettuce is grown as an annual crop, meaning that the plants will establish quickly from freshly harvested seeds. They will mature, producing their brightly colored heads, later to be harvested in a single season. Once harvested (cutting the crop at the base of it's stem) the plants will wither and die with the first killing frost. You can however collect seeds from a few of your crops if needed. Just allow the plants to bolt. (produce flowers and go to seed) This can be achieved in a few short weeks after full maturity.
Sowing The Seed
Lettuce seeds can be started indoors, or directly outdoors as well. If started indoors, choose large peat pots, at least 4 inches tall and 4 inches wide. Sow the seeds in groups of 4, at a depth of 1/16" under topsoil, so that they are barely covered. Transplant entire peat pots outdoors, or direct sow when the weather has become mildly warm. Do not sow deeper than the recommended sowing depth mentioned above, as Lettuce will require a bit of direct light to germinate properly.
Lettuce will thrive in areas of partial sun, meaning that they should receive about 5 to 6 hours of sunlight a day. Lettuce plants prefer cooler temperatures of 45F to 65F and will flourish in loose, fertile soils, just make sure that the sowing medium is also well drained. To increase your drainage, we recommend adding a light compost to any areas that consist of hard, compact soil. Water the seeds daily to ensure that the ground is moist, but never soaked.
Germination & Growth
Lettuce will typically begin to germinate within 7 to 14 days after sowing. The plants will reach a mature height of roughly 8 to 12 inches tall, spreading to a good 10 inches wide. The plants can be spaced roughly 12 inches apart from one another, in rows spaced 12 to 18 inches apart. This variety is most popularly used in salads and can also be added to fresh burgers as well.