Winter density information – How to grow lettuce plants with a winter density

Every spring, when garden centres are a mad rush of customers filling their carts with vegetables, herbs and flowerbeds, I wonder why so many gardeners try to put their entire garden in one weekend when planting in succession results in better yields and a longer harvest. For example, if you like fresh greens and leafy greens throughout the season, by planting smaller lots of seeds or starter plants, at 2 to 4 week intervals, you will have a continuous source of leafy greens to harvest. If you plant row after row of leafy greens over a weekend, you will have too many crops to harvest, store or use in a short period of time.

However, some plants are better than others for successional planting, such as lettuce. The rapid maturation and preference for the cool season often allows you to start planting earlier in the spring and later in the summer. Unfortunately, if you live in an area where summers are hot, you know that many of these crops tend to escape the summer heat. However, some varieties of crops, such as Winter Density lettuce, have the ability to withstand the summer heat and grow fresh heads of lettuce throughout the season. Click here to learn more about the benefits of growing Winter Density lettuce.

Winter density information

Winter Density lettuce ( Latuca sativa ), also known as Craquerelle du Midi, is a cross between butter lettuce and romaine lettuce. Its taste is described as sweet and crispy, like butter lettuce. It produces a straight head, similar to romaine lettuce, about 8 cm (20 cm) high, with dark green leaves that are slightly curled and tightly packed. When ripe, the heads are placed high on the stems, making harvesting easier.

Not only is winter density lettuce more resistant to summer heat than other lettuces, it is also known to tolerate cold and frost. In areas that do not experience severe winter frosts, winter density lettuce can be grown as a winter vegetable. Seeds can be sown every 3-4 weeks from early fall for winter harvest.

However, keep in mind that frost tolerance only means that the plant can survive some frost exposure, as too much frost exposure can damage or kill winter density lettuce plants. If you live in areas exposed to frost, you may be able to grow winter density lettuce throughout the winter in cold frames, greenhouses or ring houses.

How to grow winter density lettuce

Grown from viable seeds, Winter Density lettuce plants can be harvested as young shoots in about 30 to 40 days. The plants mature in about 55-65 days. Like most lettuces, Winter Density lettuce seeds require cool temperatures to germinate.

The seeds can be sown directly in the garden, every 2 to 3 weeks, at a depth of 18 inches. Winter Density plants are generally grown in rows spaced about 36 cm (91 cm) with plants spaced about 10 cm (25 cm) apart.

They grow best in full sun, but can be placed near the feet of larger garden plants to get some shade from the intense afternoon sun.

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