We are a nation of Lettuce lovers ! Just step into any English Supermarket and you’ll see a vast array of gorgeous green and red Lettuce varieties of all shapes and sizes! But did you ever think about growing your own? Lettuce is an incredibly easy vegetable to grow, no green fingers required! Here is how I grow Lollo Rossa and Lollo Biondi Lettuce…
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The Joy Of Growing Your Own Lettuce!
I absolutely love growing my own food! I love the process of sowing the seeds and watching them grow! Knowing that just a few steps from my door I can find a free homegrown supermarket full of healthy and chemical free food is such a joy for me!
Lettuce is one of my favourite things to grow! In summer especially, I eat mountains of the stuff! So one thing I always have growing on the allotment is several different varieties of lettuce. I have many favourites, take a look at these posts too…
- How To Grow Lambs Lettuce
- How To Grow Romaine Lettuce
- How To Grow Analena Butterhead Lettuce
- How To Grow Oak Leaf Lettuce
Lollo Lettuce Origins
Lollo Lettuce is believed to be a relative of an old wild species of Lettuce called Lactuca seriola . The ancient Egyptians were the first to cultivate the plant and regarded it not only as a food source but as a decorative food too due to the plants beautiful ruffled leaves.
Lollo Lettuce Characteristics
Lollo Rossa (Lactuca Sativa) is a loose leaved lettuce with fan shaped, frilly, curled leaves. The leaves are light green at their centre, transitioning to maroon tinged colouring on the frilled edges. Height 15-25cm, Spread 25-30cm.
Lollo Biondi is also a loose head lettuce with pale green, frilled edge leaves. Also commonly referred to as ‘coral lettuce‘ due to its resemblance to its namesake. Height 15-25cm, Spread 25-30cm.
How To eat Lollo Lettuce
The great thing about Lolla Rossa and Lollo Biondi is their ability to fill a plate with very few leaves needed! Thanks to their large surface area and curved, bowl-like shape they are also wonderful lettuce leaves for holding salad dressing in place. Lollo Rossa & Lollo Biondi are typically eaten raw and are often combined with other salad accompaniments…
Grow Your Own Salad Bowl!
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What does Lollo lettuce taste like?
The Leaves of both the Rossa and Biondi Varieties are tender in taste with a slightly bitter and Nutty taste
Is Lollo lettuce a cut and come again crop?
You Bet! Just pick leaves from the outside, so the heart of the lettuce can continue producing. The Lollo lettuce variety can provide weeks of Harvest from just one head!
How To grow Lollo Lettuce
When To Sow Lollo Lettuce Seeds
Sow Indoors or underglass- March To May
- Sow In Trays or Modules around 1/2 cm deep in damp compost
- Cover with a Propagator lid or cling wrap and place on a sunny windowsill to germinate
- Prick out and pot on when the seedlings are large enough to handle
- Plant out in a sunny/part shade spot once all risk of frost has passed- *Be sure to Harden off indoor raised seedlings 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 Outdoors– March To August
- Sow into well prepared, moist soil in a full sun or part shade spot.
- Sow seeds thinly at a depth of around 1cm in drills 30cm apart
- When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin out to roughly 30cm apart.
- Now would be a good time to cover young lettuce plants with a protective netting or fleece to prevent attacks from birds and insects.
- Make regular sowing’s at 3 weekly intervals for a constant supply.
Lollo Lettuce Sun And Water Requirements
Lollo Lettuce will grow well in a full sun position with at least 6 hours of sunshine each day. Water as required, more so during periods of drought
When To Harvest Lollo Lettuce
How long does it take for Lollo Lettuce to Grow? Lollo lettuce takes around 55–70 days after sowing to reach maturity. You can harvest the entire plant or ‘cut and come again’. If you want a second harvest from the same plant, simply pull off the outer leaves as you need them, so the heart can continue to produce more leaves.
Lollo Lettuce Companion Plants
Good Companion Plants…
Bad Companion Plants…
It is not advisable to plant Cabbages and other Brassicas near lettuce as they compete for the same nutrients in the soil, which in turn will lead to a smaller yield: These include, Cabbages, broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, cauliflower and kale.
Looking For more ‘Homely’ Inspo ?
Want To Grow A Vegetable Garden?
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