Seed Count: Approx. 500 seeds
Days to Maturity: 60 Days
Description: This unique 19th century French heirloom was introduced to America by C.C. Morse, in 1906, under the name “Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce.” The small cabbage or butter-head type plants are quite charming with green leaves that are splashed with scarlet-red. Leaves are tender, mild and of a high quality.
Mint2Grow Tip: Sanguine lettuce is probably one of my favorite lettuce varieties. It's tender, not bitter, a little buttery, stays nice and firm after picking, and tastes great in salads. Plus, the little speckling is just too cute. It's in my top five along with green ice leaf, tango leaf, merlot, and ice queen. However, sanguine lettuce isn't as heat tolerant, as green ice leaf, tango leaf, and merlot, and was among one of the first to bolt when planted outside (rossimo was the very first). I don't really bother with growing lettuce outdoors anymore(I only do it to test heat tolerance), since it's usually too hot, they get bitter, and bugs usually get to them first, so I just grow them in my tower garden now.
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 slow 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.