When you consider veggies for cool-season gardens, lettuce might be one of the first crops to pop into your mind. After all, everyone loves a fresh, flavorful homegrown salad, and when you grow your own lettuce, you’ll find an amazing array of varieties with unique colors, textures, and sizes.
From easy-to-grow cut-and-come-again varieties to crisp heading lettuce, homegrown lettuce wins for fresh flavor, compared to the limp, green leaves you’ll find at the grocery store.
In fact, growing your own lettuce gives you the chance to enjoy culinary creations sporting speckled, red, bi-colored, ruffled, oakleaf, and every-shade-of-green leaves.
Whether you want to create delicious low-carb wraps for your favorite fillings, enjoy a classic Caesar salad, or prefer a leaf or two topping a tasty sandwich, homegrown lettuce is one of the easiest fall veggies to add to your garden. (Have you tried grilled lettuce? It’s the latest culinary craze.)
Consider planting classic varieties, like romaine and butterhead, for a good, basic lettuce crop, then add some new, unique varieties for more flavor, color, and texture.
Bauer lettuce, with its dark green leaves and compact form, grows beautifully in raised beds, containers, windowboxes, or in-ground gardens. This oak-leaf variety tastes delicious harvested young or mature as a full-sized, rosette-shaped head.
For a fabulous variety that adds interest to salads, try Ezpark lettuce. The vibrant green, heavily serrated leaves look lovely in the garden—and add texture to your sandwiches and salads.
A vigorous grower with high yields and good bolt resistance, the lettuce tastes delicious harvested as a cut-and-come-again variety or as a mature head. Ezpark offers good resistance to downy mildew and aphids, too.
You’ll also love the combination of classic green lettuce with the deep, red leaves of Marciano lettuce. The eye-catching dark burgundy exterior contrasts beautifully with the fresh green interior, making this variety pretty both in the garden and on the plate.
A red butterhead variety, Marciano offers good disease-resistance to downy mildew and lettuce mosaic virus, plus it resists lettuce leaf aphids. Beautiful and easy-to-grow—a perfect combination.
Excerpt courtesy of the National Garden Bureau