Chicken Lettuce (Asian Sword Lettuce)

letsword.jpg
letsword.jpg

Chicken Lettuce (Asian Sword Lettuce)

2.99

This is a mix that contains Yu Mai which is known as sword lettuce.  It produces a bouquet of long narrow leaves (and a crispy center stalk that should be harvested in the cooler days of late spring.  Wider leaved types (Asparagus or Celtuce) are included and can be used as it bolts since it will produce a thicker center stalk which can be eaten raw or steamed like asparagus. Chinese lettuce, both leaves and young stalks are most often lightly steamed or stir-fried in a bit of oil with salt and hot pepper. Nice. We found several variations of this kind of lettuce and have selected from a mix over the years. This is also an easy variety to get a good seed crop of in case you're interested in seed self reliance.  Rich organic soils and ample moisture is a requirement.  Try it for both a spring crop and a fall crop.

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Lettuce

Packet sows 20 ft row (500 seed)

Lettuce can be seeded indoors a few weeks before setting in the garden but we prefer to sow the seed directly into the garden 2-3 weeks prior to the last frost date.  Thinly scatter the seed 4-6 per inch and barely cover the seed.  When the seeds are 2 inches tall carefully transplant each seedling to stand 6-8 inches apart.  Lettuce likes a fertile soil and ample moisture.

Lettuce does well in a cooler environment.  Summer lettuce is probably best grown in semi shade with ample soil moisture.  Lettuce easily bolts into seed and it is wise to plant succession crops of lettuce so that your are always ready for a salad.  If lettuce is bitter (as it sometimes becomes in summer) plunge into boiling water for a minute and then pan fry the greens in a bit of olive oil.  An August sowing produces a fall crop.

The lettuce bolts allow the seed to form white puffs like dandelion seed does.  When there are a lot of seed puffs pull the plant and allow it to become throughly dry.  The normally resinous seed will easily fall onto the tarp they dry on. and you can easily shake the remaining seed free.