Lactuca sativa

The Lettuce

When my grandfather and I sat down with the seed catalogues in the winter to plan our spring garden we always gave a good look at the lettuce varieties that we wanted to plant. Lettuce is easy to grow only if you give it what it demands and some varieties are more demanding than others.

We always had to balance what the lettuce wanted with what we thought the weather was going to give us and take into consideration how much work it was going to cost us. We rarely grew iceberg lettuce- too much work and too little flavor- but the looseleaf “cut and come again” varieties worked really well for us.

I still remember the first time our seed company offered “seed tape” - perfectly spaced single seeds in a tape. You planted the tape at the proper depth in a row and and that was it. No more crawling down the garden on your hands and knees trying to plant seeds that are the size of a grain of sand one at a time in a straight, evenly spaced row. And it featured our absolute favorite variety – Black-seeded Simpson. A definite win!

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