Tom Thumb Lettuce

One of my favourite Lettuces to grow is Tom Thumb. It’s a butterhead type with nice tight, bright green leaves and it tastes lovely with a good mustardy dressing. One of the reasons I like it so much, apart from the taste, is that it looks so neat in the garden!

Some of the Lettuces I grow are, to be honest, a bit floppy like Marvel of the Four Seasons, and a new one I tried this year, Drunken Woman (I don’t know why it’s called that either). And then your common or garden varieties like Oakleaf can get very big very quickly and take over the garden.

With Tom Thumb, they stay quite small (so you need to grow a lot of them) but they also stay where you planted them, in a neat row. I like that. At this time of year it’s my little piece of sanity in a garden gone mad.

11 Comments on “Tom Thumb Lettuce

  1. Wow! Wish mine looked that great. I’m growing in containers, so they may be a little slower. Yours do look mighty tasty. Any tips for keeping the slugs off in damp weather?

    Nice work.

  2. Mike,
    Try crushed egg shells or used coffee grounds, they hate both!!

    I love this blog; it cheers me up every time it appears in my email. I grow my veg in 8 raised beds as well as pots (for tomatoes,peppers, aubergines & herbs). It looks as if I am going to have a bumper year after a very slow start, due to the long cold winter…..fingers crossed….!

    Thanks again for all the information.


  3. Your lettuces do look lovely. Apart from mixed leaves we’re growing iceberg and romaine lettuces, all of which sprawl in a much less gainly manner. I shall make a note of the tom thumbs for next year! Thank you for sharing…

  4. they look great. i should start paying more attention to the varieties I grow. so far i just buy the mixed leaves packs or set and forget!

  5. Hattie,

    I don’t drink coffee, but do eat eggs, so I’ll be trying your first easy method. Thanks very much for the tip.

    Here’s to great and undamaged Tom Thumbs.

    All the best,

  6. Same with matina lettuce in my garden. They stay put and compact. Tom Thumb looks like one to try next year though.

  7. Hi Mike
    As well as coffee and egg shells try sprinkling oats around your garden. The slugs will eat them and thats the end of the slugs, really helps keep them off your Veg. Mark

  8. My first post on here – love your site! I’ve been growing Tom Thumb lettuces myself for the first time this year, and for some reason the slugs in my garden have left them alone for the most part (there are tasty brassicas to munch instead…). The flavour’s great, they grow quickly and I’ve heard that they do quite well in the colder months too. Have you ever tried growing them under glass/in a coldframe over winter or in early spring? Am tempted to try this from autumn onwards but wondered if anyone knew anything about it.
    Penny x

  9. Hi
    im a young person and i love growing my own, i started last year and this year ive got quite a bit growing like strawberries ,courgettes this blog is so helpful thanks ,im also passionate about cooking especially when it is home grown produce and i would love to haave a site like this

  10. i’ve also been growing tom thumbs for the first time this year, at my mums work the gardener who got me started with all my vegetables said you can put a ring of salt around the plant to stop slugs it worked with mine