Butter Lettuce

GROWING BUTTER LETTUCE

BUTTER LETTUCE PLANTING GUIDELINES

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WHERE TO PLANT

Butter lettuce are loose leaf lettuces – generally smaller and suited to container growing or gardens with restricted space. They are known for their soft leaves and creamy mild flavor. Like most lettuces, they like a sunny spot in the garden, but can wilt and become bitter tasting if they receive too much sun. To solve this problem, try offering a little shade during the hottest part of the day.  You can also plant your butter lettuces between other vegetables.

SOIL CONDITIONS

Plant out your butter lettuces in a rich soil that holds onto some moisture.  Because they are relatively fast growing leafy greens, lettuces are hungry feeders.

MAINTENANCE

Lettuces are 90 percent water and have very shallow roots, so keep the soil surface moist but not soggy.  Mulch around the lettuce heads with organic mulch to retain moisture.  Just before bolting (forming a seed-stalk), lettuce plants start to elongate and form a bitter sap. To keep this from happening, pinch off the top center of the plant. Pull up and discard any plant that goes to seed.

HARVESTING

Harvest your lettuce after about two months of growth. Lettuce that bolts (forms a seed-stalk) should be harvested immediately.  Pick your lettuce in the morning to preserve the crispness it acquires overnight.

COMPANION PLANTS

Cucumbers, onions, radishes, carrots and dill.