One of the most favoured types of lettuce, this variety is highly reliable and produces large heads of tightly packed succulent leaves with a delicious crunch. Iceberg lettuces take a little longer to develop than smaller types but easily make up for it in size. Repeat sowings will also ensure a steady supply once cropping starts.
Sow outdoors March to July. Sow thinly 1.5cm deep directly where they are to grow, in rows spaced 30cm apart. Keep the soil moist and weed free at all times. Seedlings should start to appear approximately 7-14 days. Thin seedlings out to a final spacing of 25cm apart. It is good practice to water well after thinning out, to wash any dislodged soil back around the roots of the remaining plants. Sow a new row every 2-3 weeks to extend your harvest period.
Top Tips About Seeds
Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings. Lettuce seeds maintain their vigour for quite a few years and although there are lots of seeds in a packet, repeated sowings through the summer is highly recommended so they are unlikely to last more than one season.
Lettuces can quite easily be grown in large patio tubs or containers. Especially if just grown for baby leaves. Be sure to keep the compost moist at all times
Plants can bolt, stopping the growth of leaves and running to seed too early, if stressed by drought or by extremely hot weather, especially if grown in exposed locations. Grow in a sheltered location and ensure the compost or soil is kept moist at all times.
Harvest from June to October. Leaves can be picked at any stage, from baby leaves to mature plants. Pick a few leaves from each plant and they will regrow quickly without stressing the plants too much. This will allow for a good number of regular harvests. Alternatively pick whole plants from June onwards, as required.
Ideas on how to use your Lettuce Iceberg
When thinning out just take alternate plants as they start to get overcrowded, allowing the remainder to grow on. These thinnings can then be used as baby leaves. Thin to just 5cm apart if growing space is limited and only baby leaves are required. When picking lettuces or lettuce leaves it is best done in the cool of the morning or evening, as this is when they are at their best.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
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