Lettuce, Container (Garden Babies Butterhead)
Garden Babies are brand-new, baby butterheads originally developed for the Japanese luxury market where a premium is put on flavor and quality. These cute, perfectly formed little butterhead rosettes have softly folded leaves, a lovely buttery texture and outstanding sweet taste. Ideal for growing in containers, Garden Babies are slow to bolt, heat tolerant, and make compact 5 to 6 inch heads at maturity. Perfect for individual servings and absolutely delicious with blue cheese dressing!
START SEEDS OUTDOORS
In cool spring weather, start seeds in in full sun. Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart in fertile, well-drained soil mix. After the seedlings germinate and begin to grow, it's important to thin the young plants so they have room to mature. Thin seedlings when they are 1 to 2 inches tall to a final spacing of about 4 to 5 inches apart. 5 to 7 plants can grow to maturity in a 12 to 15 inch container or 3 plants in an 8-inch pot.
Lettuce thrives in cool conditions with consistent moisture. Be sure to thin properly and keep evenly moist for sweet tasting, full heads. For a constant supply, make several sowings a few weeks apart until summer weather turns hot. Plant again in late summer for fall harvest. In hot weather, give lettuce some afternoon shade to extend harvest season and check water daily. Keep soil evenly moist and feed with liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks. Consider transplanting lettuce seedlings around the edges of a big pot containing a young tomato or pepper plant. The lettuces will be ready to eat just as the bigger plant grows larger and needs the space.
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. Pull over-mature plants if they begin to elongate (“bolt”) in hot weather, as leaves turn bitter at this stage.