When you are “fixing” to go to the Texas State Fair and see Big Tex, you know it’s fall in Texas and time to be planting cole crops and cool season greens.
My lettuce and spinach seeds are in the ground and I am waiting, waiting, waiting for them to germinate. Last year Oak Leaf Lettuce and Red Sails provided a border for my perennial beds and salad for our meals; the perfect ornamental edible!
All winter long and up until June, we could pick salads from the backyard. Lettuce being cold hardy can withstand a light frost and even lower temperatures without cover. (If temperatures, fall down into the 20′s, cover your lettuce.)
At the Demonstration Garden, we have enjoyed lettuce grown in our raised beds.
Lettuce does not need full sun and is best started in the fall in Dallas. You can also buy transplants now at your favorite garden center.
“Leaf lettuce (often called loose-leaf lettuce) is perhaps the best adapted choice for our Texas climate. It forms loose rosettes of leaves that come in a range of colors from various shades of green to burgundy including speckled types. Leaves may be harvested individually or as with other lettuce types you can harvest entire plants at one time. Another option is to “mow” the plants back part way with scissors and then allow them to regrow for a later harvest.” (Quote from Texas Gardener)
Search for loose leaf varieties like Black Seeded Simpson, Red Sails, Oak Leaf, Green Ice, and Prize Leaf. Try Little Caesar for a Romaine type of lettuce and Buttercrunch for a sweet butter head type lettuce.
To read more about growing lettuce read: Lettuce From Seed To Harvest in Texas Gardener.
Before you go to the Texas State Fair, get out in your garden and plant to enjoy a long season of homegrown lettuce!