Lettuce Leafy Green
(and several other varieties)
Lettuce is one of the easiest vegetable plants to grow. Seeds turn to full-grown leafy green lettuce ready to harvest and serve on the dining table within 35 to 45 days from planting. It is a popular plant among farming and gardening enthusiasts alike and is suitable for beginners to enjoy growing.
Lettuce is a fairly hardy vegetable that thrives in cool weather and areas where the average daily temperature is 60oF – 70oF (15oC – 210oC). Except for some varieties that can withstand a warmer climate, its growth is stunted and its leaves develop bitter taste when grown in hot environments.
Records show that the ancient Egyptians first cultivated lettuce for the production of oil from its seeds. The plant was probably selectively bred into a plant grown for its edible leaves. Evidence of its cultivation appeared as early as 2680 BC.
Types of Lettuce Leafy Green
While there are more than 87 varieties of lettuce in the United States, these are the 5 major and most common types: Butterhead, Leaf, Crisphead, Romaine, and Stem.
Leaf or Loose Leaf Lettuce
Another type of lettuce is the Crisphead Lettuce, often characterized by a tight cabbage-like head with pale green color. It has a crisp texture and mild flavor. It is adapted to cooler conditions and requires the most care. Its superior shipping quality and high availability make it the most popular lettuce in the US. Some of the common varieties are Iceberg, Great Lakes, and Ithaca.
Also called Cos, the Romaine Lettuce forms an upright elongated head and has deep green leaves with a crisp texture and without a bitter taste, making it an excellent salads and sandwiches ingredient.