Grow a garden thats filled with Ruby Red Lettuce, from freshly harvested Lactuca sativa seeds. Ruby Red is a delicious heirloom that produces semi crispy, ruby red leafs. The heads form much like romaine, in an upright formation, with it's stems leading down to it's loose core. Ruby Red is an early variety that is ready for harvesting in roughly 40 to 53 days. It's early harvest makes it a perfect choice for Northern gardens, with shorter growing seasons.
Ruby Red Lettuce is an annual crop, meaning that it will produce heads of lettuce which can be harvested in a single season. The plants are slow to bolt, and are resistant to fading, even in warm temperatures. If allowed to go to seed, you can regrow this crop the following year. Ruby Red Lettuce is an excellent choice for use as a garnish, or to add an extra splash of color to those boring ol' salads as well.
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 resistant to fading, even in the warmer temperatures of Summer. Ruby Red is also slow to bolt.
Harvesting Ruby Red Lettuce
Red Romaine Lettuce can be harvested within 50 to 55 days, when the heads are roughly 8 to 10 inches in size, and are green to red. Rinse and enjoy, or store in the fridge for later use. Keep in mind that storing your Lettuce with other fruits, such as apples and pears is not recommended, as this can cause the leaves to brown.