Every year I like to try at least one new Lettuce variety (sometimes two, or three). This year I’ll be trying this one, it’s a romaine crispy type called Garnet Rose. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a romaine this red before so I’m quite excited about it.
For me, trying new stuff is what gardening is all about. There is little point in me growing the same thing year after year – I think I would die of boredom. That said, I do have a little tribe of Lettuces that I trust and love. And these I do grow every year, albeit in different formations and numbers.
They are pictured above. Left to right (early to late):
1. Lettuce Leaf – Red Sails (great for hearting or picking one leaf at a time)
2. Lettuce Butterhead – Tom Thumb (a very small, one-person salad kind of Lettuce)
3. Lettuce – Super Jericho – (nice shape, good flavour)
4. Lettuce – Merveille de Quatre Saisons (my all-round favourite, simply melts in the mouth)
5. Lettuce Cos – Parris Island (occasionally tricky to germinate but so worth the wait)
6. Lettuce Romaine – Rouge D’Hiver (love the colour on this one and tasty too)
Even if you sowed all of these lettuces at exactly the same time then you would still get a lovely steady stream of successional salad greens because they all mature at different rates. The first one, Red Sails grows very quickly (45 days I think) while the last one Rouge D’Hiver takes a full 68 days to mature. And the new one Garnet Rose would come at the bottom of the pile at a humungous 74 days! Sheesh it had better be good.
This is a great selection for me because it almost ensures that I don’t have a glut of too many salad leaves at one time. In the early days I was drowning in Lettuce as this post, entitled “79 Lettuce” demonstrates.