This fabulous Butterhead lettuce is one of my favourites! Impressive and bolt resistant, Analena Lettuce will stand for a long time before harvest. They have bright fresh green leaves with a wonderful flavour, a perfect starter vegetable for beginner gardeners. Read on to learn more…
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But First…Some Butterhead Lettuce History!
Butterhead Lettuce Varieties have an ancient history going as far back as 2680 BC! The Egyptians were the first to cultivate it, then the greeks, then the romans before it finally spread to the rest of Europe.
The Butterhead Lettuce we are familiar with today originates from the old lettuce known as ‘Silesia’ which dates back to 1744. The first published mention of the ‘Silesia’ Variety was in the 1744 cookbook called ‘Adams Luxury and Eves Cookery’. It didn’t gain the ‘Butterhead’ title until much later when a company called Slazers began selling the lettuce, remarketing it as a ‘New variety’ and calling it the ‘German Butter Lettuce’-of course it wasnt new at all, but the name served as a cunning sales tactic to increase sales.
Butterhead Lettuce in England
Butterhead lettuce is a popular variety in the UK but that wasn’t always the case, in the 19th Century, British women avoided eating the plant as they believed it would cause infertility and sterility. This was due to the fact that Butterhead Lettuce was said to have mild Narcotic properties, Anglo-saxons even had a name for it..they called it ‘Sleepwort’.
Butterhead Lettuce Folk Medicine
Butterhead lettuce was once regarded as a healer in herbal folk medicine, it was used as a treatment for Insanity, tension, nervousness, pain and rheumatism. Some even believed it prevented smallpox if consumed regularly.
Butterhead Lettuce Nutrition
Butterhead lettuce is very nutritious! In 60 grams of Butterhead lettuce there are 7 Calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 Gram of Carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. It is aso packed with beneficial vitamins such as Vitamin A, K, B-9 as well as Iron, Potassium, magnesium, selenium and Zinc.
What Does Analena Lettuce Taste Like?
Analena lettuce has a fresh green, sweet and Buttery taste, perfect for summer salads!
Analena Lettuce Characteristics
- Analena is a large Voluminous variety of fresh green butterhead
- Fresh Green Colour With Excellent Flavour
- Stands well over long periods without Bolting
- A cut and come again crop
- Analena has a thick middle and large leaves
- A good Variety for growing in a Greenhouse throughout the Summer months
How To Grow Analena Butterhead Lettuce
When To Sow Analena Lettuce Seeds
(Follow this guide for growing any type of Butterhead lettuce variety)
Sow seeds from February to July
Sowings can be made under glass or indoors from February -April. Sow seeds into pots, modules or trays of compost and lightly cover seeds with sprinkling of compost. Place on a sunny windowsill, cover with a propagator lid or cling wrap. Prick out and pot on into individual pots or modules, plant out 30cm apart once all risk of frost has passed. *Be sure to harden off indoor raised plants first.
What Does Hardening Off Mean?
Plants raised indoors or in a greenhouse environment, need to be acclimatised to cooler temperatures and increased air movement for about two to three weeks before they are planted outdoors permanently . This is a ‘toughening up’ practice to prepare the plants for their new environment.
How to Harden Off
Place your plants out for a couple of hours in a shady part of the garden. The next day, leave them out again for two hours, but this time allow the plants an hour of direct sunshine in the morning. Gradually continue to increase the length of time the plants are in direct sunshine over the course of roughly two weeks.
Sow seeds thinly in rows from April onwards,1.5cm deep and 30 cm apart
Water and Sun Requirements
Analena loves a full sun spot! Water frequently more so during periods of drought
When To Harvest
Analena Lettuce should be ready for Harvest around 10-12 weeks after sowing
Top Tips For A Successful Lettuce Harvest!
- Protect young lettuce seedlings from birds with fleece, cloche or netting
- Slugs can also be a big problem too, especially with young juicy seedlings! Some eco friendly protection methods could be crushed eggshells, copper tape, wool pellets and beer traps
- To maximize on your lettuce harvest, try to plant in raised beds- Raised beds warm up faster than the ground that surrounds them, raised beds can provide an earlier start for sowings and a later crop in the Autumn
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