Everyone has had at least one delicious salad in their lives that knocks their socks off. Remembering one of my favorites, it was at an upscale steak restaurant, and the salad consisted of simply a crisp quarter of a head of iceberg lettuce and a light vinaigrette dressing. What made it so delectably delicious was the crispness and freshness of that lettuce, undoubtedly organic, and most probably grown locally.
Lettuce that is bought at most grocers is often limited to a few varieties with homogeneously subpar quality, texture, and taste. Growing your own lettuce in your backyard is not only fairly simple, it also is self rewarding, producing a quality of product that you will be proud to serve to your family and friends again and again.
Perhaps the most difficult part of growing your own lettuce is deciding on which variety to plant. If this is your first venture into growing, perhaps it might be best to grow the easiest variety first: loose-leaf lettuce. Loose leaf varieties are more heat tolerant so you don’t have to worry as much about an unpredicted heat wave ruining your crop.
It might be fun to research and find a variety of loose leaf that isn’t carried by your local grocer, so take your time picking your seeds at the local garden shop. For the most part, lettuce is a cool season crop. For best success, seeds should develop from seed to starts indoors, and then transplanted into your backyard garden as soon as the soil is soft for tilling and working.