HORTIPHILE

notes, musings and rants from plant lovers

Urban Lettuce Year-Round

written by: Lisa Van Cleef posted: May 12, 2010

May12

With our great climate, not only can we wear down jackets in July, we can grow lettuce year-round.

Lettuce doesn’t like summer heat making it perfect for San Francisco’s fog-shrouded summers.  Grow some now!

Lettuce is easy to grow and ready to harvest in a couple of months–the perfect plant for both the beginner and those with short attention spans.  And, lettuce roots are relatively short making it great for container gardening, another plus for San Franciscans who are squeezing our gardens onto fire escapes and rooftops.

The most common categories of lettuce are romaine, crisphead, whose best-known variety is iceberg, butterhead, with its large, loose leaves (Boston and Bibb are its most popular varieties), and leaf lettuce, including green-leaf and red-leaf lettuce.  All are equally easy to grow in our cool climate.  But take note that snails and slugs don’t seem to care too much for red leaf lettuces.

For beginners, start with seeds if you’re feeling bold, if not get a headstart and buy a six-pack of lettuces at your local nursery.

To learn more about growing urban vegetables, check out our affordable, fun workshops. There’s one this weekend!

If you’re going to go with seeds, check out the Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to keeping heirloom varieties alive.

Check out the updated edition of Pam Peirce’s Golden Gate Gardener in our bookstore for more on growing lettuce.   It’s the bible for successful vegetable gardening in our cool climate.

One Comment to

“Urban Lettuce Year-Round”

  1. On May 17th, 2010 at 6:16 pm Fred Bove Says:

    I love Black-seeded Simpson. It’s an heirloom variety that I got from Seed Savers. You rarely see it for sale at the markets, because the leaves dont ship well, but for flavor and texture, it’s one of the best.

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  • Covering all things plant/garden/nature-related, The SFBG Hortiphile is one part newspaper, one part bulletin board, one part water cooler and one part hanging over the back fence talking to your neighbor. It's a place for Bay Area folks to share news, ideas, tips and hints for living the green life.