What is Parris Island Cos – How to grow Parris Island Cos lettuce

At the end of the winter, as we browse through seed catalogues looking forward to the next gardening season, it can be tempting to buy seed of all the vegetable varieties we haven’t tried to grow yet. As gardeners, we know that a single small, inexpensive seed can quickly become a monster plant, producing more fruit than we can eat, and most of us have only feet to work with in the garden, not acres.

While some plants take up a lot of space in the garden, lettuce takes up very little space and can be grown in the cool temperatures of spring, fall and even winter in some areas where very few other garden vegetables grow. You can also plant different varieties of lettuce one after the other for a longer harvest season of fresh leaves and heads. An excellent lettuce to try in the garden for a long harvest is Parris Island cos lettuce.

Information on Parris Island Lettuce

Named after Parris Island, a small island off the east coast of South Carolina, Parris Island lettuce was first introduced in 1952. Today, it is celebrated as a reliable heritage lettuce and is the preferred romaine (also called cos) lettuce in the southeastern United States, where it can be grown in the fall, winter and spring.

It can be slow to flee in the heat of summer if given a little shade in the afternoon and daily watering. Not only does it offer a long growing season, Parris Island cos lettuce would also have the highest nutritional values of all lettuces.

Parris Island lettuce is a romaine variety with dark green leaves and a cream to white heart. It forms cup-shaped heads that can grow up to 12 cm (30 cm) high. However, its outer leaves are usually harvested when needed for fresh garden salads or to add to sandwiches in a sweet and crunchy way, rather than harvesting the entire head at once.

In addition to its long season and exceptional nutritional values, Parris Island is resistant to lettuce mosaic virus and tip blight.

Growing Parris Island plants

The Parris Island crop is no different than any other lettuce plant. The seeds can be sown directly in the garden and will mature in about 65-70 days.

They should be planted in rows spaced about 36 cm (91 cm) apart and thinned so that the plants are no closer than 12 cm (30 cm) apart.

Lettuce plants need about one inch of water per week for optimal growth. If Parris Island cos lettuce is grown during the hot summer months, it will need extra water to prevent plugging. Keeping the soil cool and moist with layers of mulch or straw will also help it grow in a harsh climate.

Keep in mind that, like most types of lettuce, slugs and snails can sometimes be a problem.

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