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Lettuce Seeds - Wintercrop

Botanical - Lactuca sativa

Notes:

Seed Count:
470 Seeds
Rating:
Availability:
Usually despatched within 24 hours
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SKU:
OV-LET-02
 
Price £1.88
 
 
Quantity:

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470 Seeds.

Other Names - Green Butterhead…

Lettuce Wintercrop can be grown over the winter months and harvested in the spring for a supply of early salad leaves when little else is available. The large mid green coloured butterhead produces large quantities of sweet, juicy leaves. This variety can be grown as a cut and come again if preferred.

  • Dense, large, medium green heads.
  • Sweet and crispy leaves.
  • Excellent choice for growing over the winter months.

Suitable For - Vegetable plot, raised beds, container garden

Sowing Months - August - September

Harvest - October - December, start again from February - May


Gardening is about finding the right balance! Try growing Companion Plants close by to help deter pests.

  • Peas, sweetcorn, runner beans and climbing French beans are good companion plants as they can create some welcomed shade for the lettuce plants especially on hot sunny days.
  • Radishes are good companions to grow next to lettuce as they do not compete with one another.
  • Calendula (Pot marigold) attracts predatory insects such as lacewings, ladybirds and hoverflies who love to feast on aphids.
  • Nasturtiums - aphids are attracted to this plant. Grow these flowers close by as a sacrificial plant. If there are aphids in the area the nasturtiums will help to draw the pests away from the crop.

Soil Preperation

Add a good amount of compost to the soil a few months before sowing or planting. Add lime if needed. A week before sowing rake the surface of the soil to produce a fine tilth and add some general purpose organic fertilizer. The soil should be a fine tilth.

General InformationSowing & Planting Information
Habit Annual Module Grown & Transplants
Type Butterhead variety Distance between plants 30 cm
Position Full sun Distance between rows 30 cm
Average height 20 cm Direct Sowing
Average spread 30 cm Sowing distance between plants 0.5 cm
Hardiness Hardy Distance between rows 30 cm
Overwintering Undercover Sowing depth Surface / 0.2 cm
Soil Ph 6.5 - 7.0 Germination temperature 8 to 18℃
    Days to germination 7 - 14 days

Sowing Guide

Early Sowing/Module Sowing

In 4 cm modules, sow 2 - 3 seeds onto the surface of moist compost. Cover the seeds lightly with a thin covering of fine vermiculite or if preferred leave the seeds uncovered. Lettuce will struggle to germinate if the temperature is too high. Place the containers in a clear polythene bag and seal or if preferred place in a propagator. Keep the modules out of direct sunlight at this point. This will help to prevent the compost from drying out especially if the seeds are uncovered. Once germination has started remove from the bag or propagator and move to a cooler but not cold location.
When the seedlings are big enough to handle thin to one strong seedling per module. Ensure the seedlings have access to as much daylight as possible, a windowsill or greenhouse is ideal. A few weeks later (depending on speed of growth) plant out into their final growing position. Harden off over a few days before planting. Plant out at the distance suggested above. Firm the soil around each plant and water well.

Direct Sowing

Sow 1 seed every 0.5 cm at the depth and row distance suggested above. Lightly cover the seeds with fine soil and water well. Sow again if after 2 weeks there is no sign of the lettuce seedlings, the chances are slugs will have eaten the whole row. If this problem re occurs try starting the seedlings indoors.


Growing On

After 3 - 6 weeks (depending on the speed of growth) thin direct sown lettuce to 30 cm apart, the thinning's can be eaten as baby leaf. Water well every 7 - 10 days in dry weather. Water more frequently if growing in containers or if the leaves start to wilt in dry weather. The remaining plants can then be left to fully mature. Or if preferred after a few weeks the outer leaves can start to be regularly harvested as a cut and come again.
This hardy winter variety will need some protection from severe frosts. Cover with a cloche before the winter weather arrives or if preferred grow in the ground or in containers in a greenhouse or polytunnel. If severe low temperatures are forecast add extra protection by covering the crop every night during the cold spell with a thick layer of horticultural fleece.
The growth of winter varieties will slow down in December and January because of cold temperatures and short day lengths. Harvesting at this time should be very minimal if any. Depending on temperature, the growth should start up again in February and the plants will grow stronger up until May when the lettuce plants will naturally start to grow tall and run to seed. Weed regularly to keep competing plants under control.


Harvesting

Lettuce grown to produce a fully mature heart are best sown little and often otherwise they will all mature at the same time. As soon as they mature they will then start to grow tall and run to seed. Sow a little seed fortnightly to keep a regular supply of mature lettuce heads growing at different stages in the garden.
To harvest the lettuce heads cut the lettuce stems close to the ground with a sharp knife. If there is no other lettuce available, leave the remaining root stump in the ground to sprout a few more lettuce leaves.
When harvesting lettuce as a 'cut and come again' over a long period, harvest the outer larger leaves first, leaving the small leaves in the middle of the plant to develop further for future pickings. Regular pickings will encourage the lettuce plant to produce even more leaves. However avoid over harvesting and always leave the plant with at least 5 - 6 leaves.
Remove slug damaged or rotting leaves whilst harvesting. Lettuce can store in the fridge in a polythene bag for 5 - 7 days.

TIP

To help avoid mould growth in damp weather conditions avoid growing lettuce plants too close together so that each plant has good air circulation.

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