Red Salad Bowl Leaf Lettuce
Seed Count: Approx. 500 seeds
Days to Maturity: 28-60 Days
Description: Red Salad Bowl Lettuce is a slow to bolt, heat tolerant, heirloom, Oakleaf variety that doesn't get bitter as it matures. This variety boasts deep, wine red, frilly leaves. It's popular for its baby leaves, but its mature leaves are equally delicious. Its flavor is sweet and tender. It's a great companion to the Tango leaf variety in salad mixes. It has moderate resistance to tip burn as well, and is best grown as a cut and come again variety. While this variety does well in warmer climates, its red color deepens with cooler temperatures.
How To Grow
Sowing: Lettuce grows well in cool weather, so the first crop can be direct sown when the soil temperature reaches at least 35 degrees. Direct sow the seed in rich soil and full sun, spreading them as thinly as possible in rows 1-2' apart. When the seedlings begin to grow, thin them to 10-12" apart. Succession crops can be grown for fresh lettuce all season in areas with cool summers or warm winters; this is accomplished by planting a new crop every 2 weeks.
Growing: Since lettuce has very shallow roots, it needs adequate moisture in order to stay tender and sweet, so keep the soil evenly moist. Applying mulch helps conserve moisture and control weeds. For companion planting benefits, grow lettuce with onions, cucumbers, or carrots. The crisper the lettuce head, the less heat tolerant they will be. However, lettuces can tolerate cold, but should be protected from the wind. If leaves begin to wilt, plants need more water. Hand weed as necessary, but be careful with their shallow roots.
Harvesting: Lettuce retains its crisp sweetness when harvested early in the morning. Most types will produce a second or even third crop after being cut, if the weather stays cool. Leaves can be gathered all season until the main stem of the plant starts to grow, at which time the leaves will grow bitter. Lettuce will bolt when weather is too hot. To avoid selecting negative traits, gather seed from the plants that are slowest to bolt. After the stalk flowers and produces pods, the pods will turn light brown and split open; in order to prevent seed loss, shake the head of the stalk into a bag every day. Store for up to 3 years.