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It’s difficult to envision a salad or sandwich without lettuce. With an abundant selection of different types, there’s a lettuce for every palate. Lettuce is also an essential ingredient in numerous savory vegetable dishes. In this article, we’ll discuss growing lettuce, the various types of lettuce, picking lettuce, and the health advantages of this leafy green.

Gallery of Lettuce and Lettuce Recipes

From light green to reddish brown, lettuce comes in a variety of leaf colors.
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About Lettuce

Lettuce is a robust, fast-growing annual vegetable with either loose or compact leaves. Leaf color ranges from light green to reddish brown. When it bolts, or goes to seed, the flower stalks are 2 to 3 feet tall, with small, yellowish flowers on the stalk. The most commonly found type of lettuce in supermarkets (iceberg, or crisphead, lettuce) is the most challenging to cultivate in a home vegetable garden. Butterhead lettuces, which have loose heads and delicate crunchy leaves, are more effortless to grow. Cos, or romaine, lettuce forms a loose, long head and is between a butterhead and leaf lettuce in flavor. Leaf lettuce is delightfully easy to grow, matures quickly, and adds bulk and color to salads.

Common Name: Lettuce
Scientific Name: Lactuca sativa
Hardiness: Very Hardy (will survive first frost)

In the following section, we’ll show you how to grow lettuce.

Want to learn more about lettuce? Try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Discover delicious recipes that incorporate lettuce.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a bountiful harvest of fantastic vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things related to gardening.

Growing Lettuce

Lettuce is a cool-season crop, typically grown from seeds sown in the garden four to six weeks before the average last frost date. Long, hot summer days cause the plants to bolt. If your region has a short, hot growing season, start head lettuce from seed indoors eight to ten weeks before the average last frost date and transplant as soon as feasible so that the plants mature before the weather gets excessively hot.

Lettuce is a cool-season crop.

Boston, Buttercrunch, and Oakleaf are popular Butterhead varieties. Sow these crops in midsummer and grow them in mild winters.

Cos (Romaine) varieties:

  • Green Towers, Paris Island, and Parris Island Cos are popular Cos varieties. Sow these crops in midsummer and grow them in mild winters.

Crisphead varieties:

  • Iceberg and Great Lakes are popular Crisphead varieties. Sow these crops in midsummer and grow them in mild winters.

Loosehead (Leaf) varieties:

  • Red Sails, Salad Bowl, and Simpson are popular Loosehead varieties. Sow these crops in midsummer and grow them in mild winters. Direct-seed lettuce 1/4 inch deep in wide rows and thin them to avoid crowding.

Mixed varieties:

  • Mixed lettuces are a fun way to experiment with different varieties. Sow these crops in midsummer and grow them in mild winters.

These tips will help you grow crisp, delicious lettuce. Whether you grow it in a raised bed, cold frame, or pot, always keep the soil evenly moist and avoid crowding the plants. Harvest the outer leaves and let the inner leaves develop, or harvest the whole plant at once by cutting it off at ground level. With so many varieties of lettuce to choose from, home gardeners will never become bored with this garden favorite.

available in small bunches with stems and leaves that have a peppery taste. When selecting lettuce, it is important to choose ones with firm and vivid leaves. Avoid greens that are wilted or have brown edges or slimy leaves. Lettuce should be stored in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, with the roots intact and in perforated plastic bags. Romaine lettuce is a better option than iceberg lettuce. Other greens like arugula, chicory, endive, escarole, radicchio, and watercress have different flavors and storage times. Ethnic or farmers’ markets may have a wider variety of greens. Some pre-packaged salad packs contain a mix of different lettuces.

Lettuce can be purchased either in “bouquets” or vacuum-sealed packs. Look for dark-green, glossy leaves and store them in plastic bags for use within a day or two. Unopened vacuum-sealed packs can last up to three days. Before using lettuce, separate the leaves and wash them well to remove dirt and grit that may have settled between them. For stronger-flavored salad greens, pair them with dressings that have stronger flavors, such as warm mustard or garlic-based dressings.

Different varieties of lettuce have varying nutritional values, with Romaine providing decent nutrition while iceberg lettuce does not. To make a nutritious salad, use plenty of leafy greens such as radicchio, arugula, endive, chicory, and escarole. The darker the color of the salad green, the more nutritious it is, with beta-carotene being the chief disease-fighting nutrient found in darker-colored greens. These greens also contain folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend eating about 2 cups of vegetables each day, with two cups of raw greens equaling one cup of veggies according to the Guidelines.

Chicory is a great source of vitamin C, which is another antioxidant nutrient that can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and cataracts. Some salad greens, like arugula and watercress, are part of the cruciferous family, which adds even more ammunition to the fight against cancer.

If you’re interested in the nutritional values of fresh romaine lettuce, here’s what you need to know:
Serving Size: 1/2 cup, shredded

Calories 0
Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 1 g
Protein <1 g
Dietary Fiber <1 g
Sodium 2 mg
Calcium 8 mg
Potassium 58 mg
Vitamin A 1,365 IU
Folic Acid 32 micrograms
Vitamin C 6 mg
Carotenoids 1,362 micrograms

If you want more information about lettuce, you can try:

  • Vegetable Recipes: Find delicious recipes that feature lettuce.
  • Nutrition: Find out how lettuce fits in with your overall nutrition plans.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

This information is provided solely for informational purposes and is not intended to provide medical advice. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other healthcare provider.


1. What is lettuce?

Lettuce is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in salads and sandwiches. It is a member of the daisy family and is thought to have originated in ancient Egypt.

2. What are the different types of lettuce?

There are several types of lettuce, including iceberg, romaine, butterhead, and leaf lettuce. Each type has a unique flavor and texture, and can be used in a variety of dishes.

3. How do you store lettuce?

Lettuce should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container to keep it fresh. It is best to wash lettuce just before using it to prevent wilting.

4. Is lettuce nutritious?

Yes, lettuce is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. It is also low in calories and can be a healthy addition to your diet.

5. Can you eat lettuce if it is wilted?

Lettuce that is wilted or slimy should be discarded, as it may be contaminated with bacteria. However, if the lettuce is slightly wilted, it can be refreshed by soaking it in cold water for a few minutes before using it.

6. How do you prepare lettuce for a salad?

To prepare lettuce for a salad, wash the leaves thoroughly and dry them with a salad spinner or paper towels. Tear or chop the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and toss with your favorite salad dressing and toppings.

7. What are some recipes that use lettuce?

Lettuce can be used in a variety of recipes, including salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Some popular recipes include Caesar salad, BLT sandwiches, and lettuce wraps filled with chicken or tofu.

8. Where can you buy lettuce?

Lettuce can be purchased at most grocery stores and farmers markets. Look for fresh, crisp leaves that are free from blemishes and discoloration.

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