|Genus ||Lactuca |
|Species ||sativa L. var. capitata |
|Variety ||Calmar |
|Item Form ||(P) Pkt of 600 seeds |
|DaysToMaturity ||75 |
|FruitColor ||Green |
|SeedsPerPack ||600 |
|Additional Characteristics ||
Edible, Season Extenders
|Foliage Color ||
|Harvest Season ||
Early Fall, Late Spring, Mid Fall, Mid Spring
|Light Requirements ||
Full Sun, Part Shade
|Moisture Requirements ||
Downy Mildew, Heat Tolerant
|Soil Tolerance ||
Normal, loamy, Sandy
Beds, Containers, Outdoor
From farmers' markets and supermarkets to gourmet restaurants and backyard gardens, Leafy Greens (Lettuce, Mustard, Spinach, and Collards) are popular for their various textures, sweet or pungent flavors, beautiful colors, and nutritional value. They're versatile and fast growing, can be harvested at most any stage, are delicious raw or cooked, and in warmer climates can be grown year-round. For flavor, beauty, nutrition, and ease of cultivation, you can't beat the numerous, wonderful varieties of Lettuce and Greens!
Choosing a Variety
There's a world of terrific options when it comes to choosing which types of Lettuce and Greens to grow. These versatile veggies come in all shades of green and red, offer flavors from sweet to pungent, and provide a delightful range of textures, from crunchy to tender and smooth to frilly. And best of all, each one is easy to grow, great for beginning gardeners, and completely scrumptious!
When to Start
Lettuce and Greens are best started outdoors as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring or late summer (for a fall crop). For those living in zones 8 and warmer, sow your seeds in early fall for a winter harvest.
As long as the temperature stays below 80 degrees F, you can keep making successive sowings -- every two weeks is typical -- to extend your harvest. As summer approaches, however, you will want to plant varieties that tolerate heat and resist bolting (producing flowers and seeds too soon).
If you choose to sow your seeds indoors, do so 4 weeks before planting out, at a temperature of 65 to 68 degrees F. Expect germination in 7 to 10 days.
How to Start
Leafy Greens prefer fertile, well-drained soil, so before planting add compost or manure. This will provide important nutrients and improve drainage.
They will produce in light shade but grow the best in areas with full sun exposure.
Seeds should be scattered in a row and covered lightly with soil. Keep the soil moist until they germinate.
- Leafy Greens can be harvested at almost any stage of growth. If you want“baby ”Greens, pick the leaves after 3 or 4 weeks of growth.
- If growing your plants to full size, adequate spacing is essential. There needs to be 8 to 10 inches between mature plants.
- Lettuce and Greens will often bolt if the temperatures get too high. If this happens, remove and compost the plant, as the leaves will be bitter and inedible.
- Thin crowded seedlings once the seeds germinate and begin to grow. Just pinch them at the base of the stem or snip them with scissors. Don't throw them away, though, as these thinnings are quite good in salads and sandwiches.
- Pots and containers are an excellent way to grow your Leafy Greens. Containers need to be at least 4 to 6 inches deep. Use a soilless medium, checking it every day to be sure it hasn't dried out. Water as needed.
- When harvesting you can take the entire plant or remove only the amount of leaves you want. Take those at the base of the plant, starting with the outer ones. New leaves will continue to grow from the center.
- If you're harvesting the whole plant remove it by pulling it out of the ground or by cutting it off at ground level.
- Although Leafy Greens are best eaten fresh they can be stored in your refrigerator's vegetable crisper for a day or two. Some can be kept a bit longer -- Lettuce, Collards, and Mustard Greens tend to stay fresh from 3 days to a week.
- Store your Leafy Greens in a plastic bag after removing any soil or damaged leaves. Wash thoroughly with cold water before eating.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
- Lettuce and Greens don't tend to have problems with pests as they grow quickly, often in cooler weather when insects are less likely to be active. You still need to regularly check them for pests, however, to prevent a small problem from becoming a disaster.
- Do not use chemical pesticides since you will be eating the leaves. Instead, remove pests with your hands or wash them off with a stream of water.
- Encourage the presence of beneficial bugs such as ladybugs, lacewings, and other“good bugs ”that prey on aphids and mites.
- Grow your Leafy Greens in well-drained, fertile soil, and allow good spacing. This will prevent most diseases.
- Spinach can be susceptible to downy mildew (Blue mold). This is a fungal disease that produces slightly yellow lesions on the top of the leaves and purplish sporulation (small spores) on the underside. The best way to prevent this is to space the plants far enough apart they receive good air circulation, and when watering, wet the ground not the foliage.
- Rotate your Spinach crops each year to prevent soil-borne diseases.
View All Know Before You Grow Topics
Lettuce Germination Information How to Sow Lettuce:
How to Grow Lettuce: Transplanting:
- Best sown outdoors
- It is a cool season crop that should be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring or in late summer for a fall crop.
- In Zones 8 and warmer, seeds may be sown in early fall for winter crops
- Make successive sowings for as long as the temperature is below 80°
- Seeds can also be sown indoors, 4 weeks before planting out, at a temperature of 65-68°
- Indoors and out, sow with no cover as light aids in germination and expect germination in 7-10 days
- When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed
Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves, doing so very carefully so as to avoid inducing shock. Spacing:
Space leaf types 4-6 inches apart and head types 10-12 inches apart. Plant both in rows spaced 12-18 inches apart Soil:
Site in full sun in a neutral, light, rich, moist, well-drained soil. Keep well watered and feed lightly every 3-4 weeks Appearance and Use:
There are four basic types: Crisphead (not grown in home gardens,
rather a product of mass production for grocery stores) forms a round, firm, tight ball. Butterhead
forms a more open head of crisp, fleshy leaves. Romaine forms a tall, slender, open, vase-shaped
head that is taller than wide. Leaf lettuce types form round, loose, rosettes of leaves. Harvest the
heading types when the center is firm; harvest the outer leaves of the leaf types first, then harvest
the entire head when it is mature
About Lettuce: Botanical name:
Lactuca sativa Pronunciation:
lak-tu’kå sa-te’vå Lifecycle:
Asteraceae; native to the Mediterranean
Superior Germination Through Superior Science
Park Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University Inspected
To make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced Technicians
Park Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold Standard
And many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier.
When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?
It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.
What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?
Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?
Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.
What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?
The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.
How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?
For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.
How long will seeds keep in storage?
Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?
We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What depth should I sow various seeds?
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.