Buttercrunch is a popular bibb type loose head lettuce that has sweet, high yielding thick green leaves and a small, tight head.
Learning Download: How to Grow Lettuce
From Seed to Harvest: A guide to growing lettuce.
Homegrown lettuce offers more vitamins and variety than that bought at the store, and it can add color to tossed salads and other dishes. Lettuce is an excellent source of vitamin A.
Lettuce is a cool-season crop, and seedlings can tolerate a light frost. Lettuce grows quickly, so stagger the plantings.It is recommended to sow the lettuce seeds directly into the garden as soon as the soil can be worked. Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep in single rows. If you want an earlier crop, lettuce can be started indoors four to six weeks before the last frost.
Once seedlings begin to appear, thin them. For leaf lettuce, thin to 4 inches apart. For loose-headed lettuces, thin to 8 inches apart. For firm-headed types, thin to 16 inches apart. To prevent aphids, plant chives or garlic between your rows of lettuce. Water lettuce when its leaves are wilting slightly and weed by hand. Lettuce has shallow roots, so weed carefully. Plant lettuce near taller plants, like tomatoes, so the leaves are in the shade during the hot parts of the day. Mulch lettuce with compost or straw to retain moisture.
Lettuce can be picked whenever real leaves form. Pick when the leaves are younger rather than waiting so the taste doesn’t become bitter. For heads of lettuce, cut the plant at the soil line to harvest it. For leaf lettuces, you can harvest the entire plant or only the outer leaves as needed. Harvest in the morning.
What lettuce craves:
Lettuce is typically a care-free plant, but you can fertilize the soil with an organic fertilizer one week prior to planting the seeds. Lettuce grows best in soil that is high in humus. Fertilize three weeks after transplanting seedlings with an alfalfa meal or a slow-release fertilizer.
Where to buy lettuce seeds:
You can find a wide variety of lettuce seeds of all different colors and flavors at Urban Farmer.
Learning Download: Lettuce Comparison Chart
Lettuce Comparison Chart
|Type||Variety||Days to Maturity||Color||Use|
|Batavia||Chrystal Batavian||30-50||Purple-red with green hearts||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||All the Year Round**||60-73||Dark green||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Butter King**||60||Green||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Buttercrunch**||65||Light green||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Carmona Red**||55||Red with green hearts||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Continuity**||70||Dark green with bronze-red tips||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Marvel of Four Seasons**||60||Bronze red with green hearts||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Sante Fe**||55||Green with bronze-red tips||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||Tom Thumb**||50-70||Green||Full size|
|Butterhead/Bibb||White Boston**||60-72||Light green||Full size|
|Iceberg||Calmar||75||Dark green||Full size|
|Iceberg||Great Lakes 118***||75||Dark green||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Black Seeded Simpson**||45||Light green||Baby leaf|
|Looseleaf||Bronze Mignonette**||65||Green and bronze||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Deer Tongue||28-50||Medium green||Baby leaf|
|Looseleaf||Freckles||55||Green with red “freckles”||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Gabriella||25-50||Green and dark red||Baby leaf or full size|
|Looseleaf||Grand Rapids TBR||45||Green||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Green Ice**||45||Green||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Merlot**||35-50||Dark red||Baby leaf or full size|
|Looseleaf||Midnight Ruffles||45||Dark red||Baby leaf or full size|
|Looseleaf||Prizehead**||45||Green with red tips||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Ruby Red***||40-53||“Ruby” red with green hearts||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Sunset***||50||Deep red||Baby leaf|
|Looseleaf||Seafresh**||45||Blue green||Full size|
|Looseleaf||Waldmans Green**||28-45||Light green||Baby leaf|
|Lollo||Lollo Rosa Darky||72||Dark red with light green heart||Baby leaf|
|Lollo||Selway**||30-55||Dark purple with light green heart||Full size|
|Oakleaf||Green Salad Bowl**||50||Green||Baby leaf|
|Oakleaf||Oakleaf||65||Light green||Baby leaf|
|Oakleaf||Red Salad Bowl**||50||Red||Baby leaf|
|Oakleaf||Royal Oakleaf||50||Blue green||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Cimarron||28-65||Green-red with dark red tips||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Dwarf Romaine||28-70||Green||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Green Towers||60||Dark green||Full size|
|Romaine/Cos||Little Gem||30-50||Dark green||Baby leaf or full size|
|Romaine/Cos||Parris Island Cos**||22-55||Green||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Red Romaine**||40||Green and redish-purple||Full size|
|Romaine/Cos||Rouge D’Hiver**||60-65||Green and medium-red||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Vivian**||35-50||Dark green||Baby leaf|
|Romaine/Cos||Winter Density**||54||Green||Full size|
*All American Selection Winner