Monday, September 8, 2014

Veg Varieties: Lettuce

The following is an excerpt from our vegetable variety pages that can be found here on our website.

If you are enjoying these variety posts, please let us know and we will continue to put them out here on a weekly basis.  Email us or post a comment.

We've only planted two successions of Amish Deer Tongue this year.  The first was just harvested at the end of August.  Sadly, it was a short succession since, for whatever reason, the seed didn't want to germinate this time around.  The second succession should be ready in early October.   The plan is to put a few into the high tunnel this time around and have the rest mature in the field.

We have not really noticed much difference in taste based on the time of year.  Weeds are the biggest problem for this variety and the surest way to get the plants to bolt early.  

Amish Deer Tongue
Amish Deer Tongue Lettuce
This lettuce is a little harder to describe because it is very different than many we grow. The leaves have a spinach-like texture, and that texture suggests spinach enough that some people might detect a hint of spinach taste. But, we're not sure if that's inferred or actual. The taste and texture are just different enough that they add interest to a salad with more commonly known lettuces. Plants are compact and tough. Probably a better cool season lettuce as they don't hold long in warmer weather. Note: don't plant too close or you'll get tall/thin plants that aren't as full as they can or should be. Crowding do to overplanting or weeds will encourage bolting. And, unlike other lettuce, storm damaged leaves don't just 'melt' away as the plant grows through the damage. As a result, storm damaged plants are often difficult to market because of their looks. We expected these to do well in the high tunnel and they did do well enough. But, like a romaine, they don't unfreeze like looseleaf lettuces might. So, target them for November to early December (at the latest) in Iowa, but don't try to push it too far or you lose quality. A good variety to add for different texture and taste in the salad.

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