Leaf Lettuce for zones 10-11

corrie22October 4, 2008

I'm totally lost when I comes to lettuce.

I've read enough to know that there are varieties with disease resistance bred into them, just like tomatoes.

But I have no idea what is what and where to order them from.

I'm going to try and grow lettuce in long planters, between the tomatoes this year.

Just leaf types for salads, etc.

Can someone suggest a variety that has done well for them, and where to buy seed?

Thanks guys, happy weekend!


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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Red Sails is yummy! I am also trying Lettuce Seed strips this year from Thompson & Morgan, it's a green leaf called "Salad Bowl". Corrie I am probably the last person to ask cause I have never had excellent results with lettuce, however the Red Sails did pretty good until it got too hot this spring. Hopefully growing lettuce in fall/winter will go better.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 3:59PM
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Hey you!

While I was sitting here watching it rain...
....and all my new tomato plants rotting!

I found this place on the internet, in Florida, that has lettuce seed for hydro/greenhouse growers.
Most of them are bred with a lot of disease resistance, they describe heat and cold tolerance, light levels, etc

Lettuce down here can be like tomatoes, even get some of the same diseases.

If I order from them, I don't need near that many seeds, I'll split them with you. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Fancy Smancy Lettuce

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 4:35PM
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last year I grew "summer glory blend" from park seed which is a variety designed to do well in the heat. I would say that 2 of the lettuce types did fairly well.

This year I am growing the leftover seeds from that pack as well as "Calmar" and "Green Ice" I will let you all know how they did in the spring.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 5:08PM
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Green Ice sounds great, and Calmar sounds exotic. LOL

Michelle, while it's raining (and to keep my mind off my rotting tomatoes!) I've been reading on lettuce in South Florida.
From what I've read, I'm getting the picture that we don't need lettuce that does well in the heat, not when we are growing in the winter down here.
Heat tolerant varieties also take more light and longer days.

I think we need to look for varities that take less light and shorter days. That might be a cool tolerant variety, or a early spring/late season type.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 5:23PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Corrie, send me your address (see my page for my aol email) and I will send you 1/2 of the Salad Bowl seeds. I don't need that many either. Let me know what you order and I will take a few seeds from one of them. First it's Florida Tomato History 101 on the Tom Forum, and now.."Intense studies Of Lettuce in Florida" LOL!!! being in Islamorada, you should drive up to Ricky's swap in Boca on the 19th. I would love to meetcha!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 7:26PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Corrie, I forgot to mention how I have my tomato seedlings in trays and in the protected Tomato condo. Helps keep them from floating. I have 3 stacked on their sides Milk Crates with my cups and small pots of tomato seedlings. There's holes all the way around and I have the openings on a sheltered side. Larger plants get moved to plant trays that I slide under my potting bench. I have filmy light clear plastic garbage bags cut to make a single sheet clothing pinned to the crates and the potting bench. I also have window screens in the front of the potting bench. When it's rainy, the garbage bag plastic, with wind slits cut into it, wraps the crates and 1/2 the bench. I also have 12 pack can cardboard laying on the top of the bench so deluges don't drown my babies. It also helps with scorching sun block. Just thought I'd share since we are getting all the rain coming up in the Gulf after you are finished with it down there in Islamorada...beautiful place by the way! You ever get up here? Let me know.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 7:34PM
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Is Boca north of Homestead? You mean there's something north of Homestead? LOL

Thank you, thank you for the offer. But I'm being particular (particular in this case means neurotic) LOL
I'm going to keep researching and try named brands of lettuce first. I'm thinking of trying 2-3 types that they recommend for down here. Grow them through out the whole season, and see how they do.
That way I'll end up with specific named plants and know if I want to repeat them next year or try different ones, based on how they do.

I got this last batch of tomatoes right off the Bonnie truck. They unloaded them with what looked like bacterial speck already. All of the tomatoes had it.

Bonnie said to hang on to them and they would replace them next week.

Which makes me think "replace them with what?"

So I've dipped them twice already. Then, of course, it's started raining again! I'm just moving them in and out of the rain.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 8:46PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

LOL Corrie-Some of my new seedlings are getting spots and holes already too...There are times I wish I lived...or at least my garden lived in a bubble! Come UP to Ricky's, dang it!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 9:13PM
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I had good luck with two lettuces: Forellenschluss & Merveille des Quatre Saisons (look kinda like small romaine type but have some speckles on the first & deep colored tops on the 2nd type), I got them from diane's flower seeds online. We just ate them this week & planted more!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:38AM
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I've had lots of good luck with lettuce during the cold (or I should say cool) season here. As the heat comes on they either bolt or get terribly attacked by pests. I grow lots of salad bowl and I even had some romaine start to head up last winter. Al my lettuce currently grows in Aquaponics systems. I have an aquarium aquaponics system set up indoors just for the purpose of being able to grow lettuce during the summer inside where it is cool enough. (Aquaponics is a cross between hydroponics and Aquaculture, by doing Aquaponics we also get meat (fish) out of our garden.)

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 11:46AM
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watermelon7(9 - 10)

Plant your lettuce when it is nice and cool outside. Lets say, maybe 83 degrees and under. If you go to your local hardware and gardening store, like Home Depot, take a look at the lettuce there. It should tell you on the front of the package if it is disease resistant or not. On the back, it may tell you which diseases it is resistant to, or you can look up the name of the lettuce online. Pariss Island (yes, Pariss, two S's) lettuce and other romaines are probably the most nutritious. Work in organic matter to the soil a week before planting, but don't add too big of organic matter. Try old wood chippings from a tree, or maybe some old, rotting mulch, if you have any.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 3:30PM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Great tips everyone, thanks. Corrie, thanks for bringing up this topic!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Thanks guys for all the great leads and names.
I've been making some calls and sending some emails
and putting my list together. Why can't they just give you 2-3 choices, then I could make up my mind. LOL

Bonnie is sending some down on the truck for me to try, and a couple of companies were good enough to send me some sample packs of seeds.
As soon as I have an idea of how they are doing, I'll let you know.

watermelon, I think you meant Parris. I did find that one too. Thank you

It's a long drive to Boca!


    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 5:14PM
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i'm in zone 9, but i can vouch for summer glory, too. tasty mix that 's slow to bolt... and, when it does, you can collect the seeds of the best varieties and plant them the next year.

Here is a link that might be useful: saving lettuce seeds

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 7:47PM
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I've never tried lettuce here, so I can't contribute, but this thread reminds me of the year in SC when I dug up my lettuce before the first frost and put it into the wheelbarrow, and pushed it into the shed. It grew very well in there, insulated with the hay around the walls, and lit with the flourescent light fixture, and I ate lettuce all winter.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:13PM
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watermelon7(9 - 10)

Does lettuce usually cross-pollinate? I know some plants usually don't like beans, but most plants within the same species do.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I've had great luck with arugula, which isn't technically lettuce, but is a lettuce-like green, just sharper. Grows like a weed when I sprinkle seeds on top of the mulch. But I do lettuce and arugula as baby greens and just plant a whole lot of them, close together, knowing I won't ever let them get big enough to crowd each other. In this heat, even in the "cool" season here, I don't manage to water enough to keep them tender when they get big, so I just plant a whole lot and pick 'em each night.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 12:00AM
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cindeea(FtMyers 10)

Susannah, I LOVE that idea!! I adore baby greens anyway, and generally, lettuce bolts on me or gets buggy before it matures. I have a raised window box that I think I will try this in. I take it you don't thin the plants other than when you pick for your salad? YUM!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2008 at 2:30PM
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I am trying lettuce again this year I had given up. Just when I thought it was cool enough to put some out here come
\the heat and bolting. Jan,Feb no matter. Even the heat tolerant varities were bolting on me. Other years that seemed warm too I had beautiful head varities. Go figure.
I live in Ft Pierce where zone 10 is the Island. Coconut Palms are growing and thriving 6 miles inland. They should not be there. We are due for a hard hard freeze up here.
There will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth when it comes.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2008 at 11:27PM
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Nope, I don't thin them when they're little. I ignore them when they're little. I've had arugula plants growing right together, where I clearly scattered the seeds and a couple seeds stuck together. I just pick as I go and if the plants look crowded, I pick one to the ground. And I save some seeds to later fill out the bed, such as it is, where the seeds I scattered earlier didn't grow.

I'm sure it would work in your window box but my limited experience with it would suggest, mulch it.

Honestly, I just looked at the seeds, and they looked like seeds that had evolved to scatter and reseed. So I figured, I'd scatter over mulch, which it seems would be a little like whatever sort of leaf litter and grass thatch a wild plant might encounter if it were to evolve seeds that germinate when scattered.

Turns out it works. Works with basil, broccoli and coriander too. With basil and coriander, I didn't get a plant per seed _ only a very few actually germinated from the many I scattered _ but a seed packet is cheaper than buying a single plant and once I buy the plants, and dig the holes, and water them in, I feel obligated to at least try to make sure they live.

With a $1 seed packet of basil from KMart, I was happy when I got four big, healthy basil plants and more coriander than I could use for doing nothing but scattering seeds over mulch.

With the broccoli, I babied the ones that came up, sprayed bugs off them, etc. But I also ate lots of broccoli from them. So for another $1, the method worked for me. And one actually reseeded ( I let it go to seed, thinking I'd collect them and then didn't get them in time.) It was the wrong time of year and the plant finally succumbed to the heat this summer. But that convinced me that's the way they want to be seeded.

I was able to save seeds from the coriander, which are going to be scattered this weekend. In between the tomatoes. The oh-so-many-what-was-i-thinking tomatoes. :)


    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 1:06AM
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