Vivid maroon colored leave have rich color and green tints toward the base of the head. You eat with eyes first, but your taste buds will reassure your choice with one bite of the rich mild taste that’s pleasing to any palate. Great in mixes and is included in the heirloom cutting blend.
START SEEDS OUTDOORS
In cool early spring weather, start seeds in finely worked soil in full sun. Sow 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart in rows 6 to 8 inches apart and cover lightly. Tend carefully and keep evenly moist. Gradually thin out extra seedlings, leaving remaining plants standing 12 inches apart so lettuces have room to size up and fully mature into big butterhead rosettes. For a constant supply, make several sowings a few weeks apart until summer weather turns hot. Plant again in late summer for fall harvest.
Lettuce thrives in cool conditions with consistent moisture. Weed, water and be sure to thin carefully to proper spacing for best quality heavy heads. If birds are attracted to young seedlings, cover with floating row covers or netting. Make a shade structure in hotter climates to extend the growing season.
HARVEST AND USE
Savor young thinnings in your first spring salads. Then harvest plants by cutting mature heads when they feel firm and well-filled out. Be sure to thin properly and keep evenly moist for sweet tasting, full heads. Pull and discard or compost over-mature plants if they begin to elongate (“bolt”) in hot weather as leaves turn bitter at this stage.
Soil temperature: 65 - 70 degrees fahrenheit
Seeding depth: 0.25 - 0.5 inches
Germination lighting: Light required
Germination days: 6 - 10 days
Maturation days: 55 days