It's name means “Red of Winter”, and this French heirloom lettuce does
indeed thrive in cool conditions. The leaves are dark red to bronze on
the tips, with a dark green base. Commonly used as a baby leaf variety,
but also forms an amazing full size head. Sweet buttery texture, and
Baby leaf ready in 28 days, 55 days to mature.
Detailed planting instructions:
Direct seed or transplant in early spring, as soon as you can work the
soil. To get an early start, prepare beds the previous fall by working
in manure or compost and raking smooth to leave a fine seedbed.
Direct-seeding: Sow seed 1/8 inch deep,
1 inch apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. When plants have two or
three true leaves, thin to 12-inch spacings for crisphead varieties, 6
to 10 inches for other types. You can also lightly broadcast seed
(particularly of looseleaf varieties) in a patch instead of a row.
Transplants: Sow in 1-inch cells 3 to 4
weeks before transplanting outside. Harden seedlings by reducing water
and temperature for 3 days before transplanting. Hardened plants
should survive 20 F. Space crisphead transplants 12 inches apart in
rows 18 inches apart. Space other varieties 6 to 10 inches apart in
rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
Seeds need light to germinate, so do not plant too deep.
Make succession plantings every week or two. Grow
several varieties with different maturity dates for a continuous supply.
Lettuce has a shallow root system. Keep soil moist to
keep plants growing continuously. Mulch to retain moisture and suppress
weeds (unless slugs are a problem).
Moisture stress and high temperatures, particularly at
night, encourage bolting. As the season progresses, plant more
bolt-resistant varieties. Locate plants where they will be partially
shaded by taller nearby plants, latticework or other screen.
Use row covers to protect very early plantings from
cold, to protect young plants from insects, and (supported by hoops) to
shade crops when warm weather arrives.
For fall crops, time maturity around time of first
expected frost. Mature plants aren’t as tolerant of freezing as
Harvesting lettuce is
relatively simple: Leaf lettuce can be cut as soon as it is large enough
to use, usually in 50 to 60 days from planting. Cutting every other
plant at the ground will give remaining plants more space for growth.
Romaine and Butterhead lettuce can be harvested in about 60 to 70 days from planting.
Crisphead varieties take longer and should be harvested as
soon as a head develops but before outer leaves turn brown. If seed
stalks appear, pick the lettuce immediately and store in the
refrigerator to prevent bitterness. To store lettuce first wash it well
by immersing in water and swishing it around. Place it in a colander and
rinse then drip dry. When it is dry place it in a plastic bag in the refrigerator
or wrap in paper towels and place in a bowl in the refrigerator. It
keeps best at 32 degrees with 96% humidity. Avoid storing lettuce with
apples, pears or bananas as they release a natural ripening agent that
will cause brown spots and the leaves will decay quickly.
Rubbing separates the plumes and chaff from the seeds. When completely
dry, shake the flower stems in the bag. Rub the seed heads between your
hands to release more seeds. Put the seed through a fine mesh sieve that
allows the seeds through but retains the chaff and plumes; this will
give relatively clean seed. Winnowing is difficult because seeds and
chaff are about the same size and weight. For extra cleaning use reverse
screening, with a smaller mesh that retains the seed but lets small
pieces or chaff and plume through. The dust produced during cleaning
causes irritation to the lungs and eyes. If cleaning large amounts use a
mask and goggles or clean outdoors.
- Comes in E-Z Lock resealable, reusable triple-layered foil packets
- Seeds are open pollinated and can be grown, harvested, and replanted endlessly
- Dried & sealed airtight for long-term storage