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After growing my own lettuces for so many years in the garden, I get bored with the rather ordinary lettuces one often finds in the grocery stores. If the lettuce isn’t extra fresh, excellent tasting and even pretty, I’m just not interested. Life is too short for boring lettuce.
Lucky for me, it’s easy to grow lettuce at home – and there are so many delicious and beautiful varieties available to the home gardener. For the price of a small package of lettuce seeds, you can grow an awful lot of salad.
I’m always trying different lettuces in my home garden. In this Fiskars Hanging Garden, I’m growing pale-green ‘Panisse’ Green Oak Leaf Lettuce (top); red romaine lettuce (middle); and speckled butterhead x COS (bottom).
The speckled butterhead lettuce is a mild salad green tinged with red on broad leaves. These heirloom lettuces date back to at least 1799, according to Seed Savers Exchange.
All of these lettuces grow well with high quality potting soil, nitrogen-rich organic fertilizers and full sun. In warm weather, however, these lettuces are better with afternoon shade.
Lettuces thrive in rich soils, so I’ll often feed them with fish emulsion.
I’m just crazy about how these three pretty lettuces complement each other with lime green, red and speckled green with red. They turn a normal salad into a work of art.
Plus, these lettuces are “cut and come again,” which means you can cut back the baby leaves and they will come again a few more times. So, there are plenty of reasons to clip these lovely lettuces over the next few months.
I hope I have inspired you to grow pretty and unusual lettuces in your garden. The next time you’re bored with grocery store lettuces, invest in some seeds or transplants. You’ll be happy to see how many delicious and beautiful salads you can grow for your family meals. And before you know it, you’ll be a lettuce snob too.