Leaf Lettuce

Summer was hard on our vegetable gardens this year.  Two major storms in June followed by searing heat in July.  My plants are tired and have slowed down producing.

Its time to think about lettuce.  Lettuce a cool season crop and what better way to end the summer by planting a few rows.  There are hundreds of different types of leaf lettuce to choose from.  Most leaf lettuce take about 50-60 days to mature once planted.  One of my favorite leaf lettuce is ‘Merlot’.  It is a 55 day variety that is deep dark red in color and high in nutrients.

Two varieties I am considering trying this fall is ‘Katie’s Mustard Lettuce’ an Australian heirloom growing about 12″ tall.  ‘Flashy Butter Oak Lettuce’ will offer red/green splashes to your salad.

The only bad thing about planting leaf lettuce is having to protect it from bunnies.  They enjoy lettuce as much as I do.  Exclusion by using 1/4″ mesh chicken wire or hardware cloth will keep them out.  It doesn’t look pretty but I want lettuce this year!

Scott Evans
Scott Evans is a horticulture assistant with Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties. A certified arborist through International Society of Arboirculture and Nebraska Arborist Association. Scott is also Tree Risk Assessment Qualified through ISA. Scott co-leads the Master Gardener program in Douglas & Sarpy counties. Along with volunteer management he provides his expertise with disease and insect identification, lawn and landscape weed management, plant health, and I.P.M. practices. He also enjoys growing many houseplants ranging from African violets to cacti and succulents. Scott has two Bachelors of Science, one in Biology (emphasis in Botany, Ecology and Environmental Science) and second in Environmental Geology from Northwest Missouri State University. He earned his Master of Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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