Salad Bowl

AT A GLANCE

A fast-growing lettuce with close-set, deeply-lobed, brilliant green leaves. Slow to bolt, this leaf lettuce is known for its lasting sweetness and tenderness.

More details

SunFull
Germination7 - 14 Days
Sowing MethodStart in Pots / Trays
Days to Maturity50 Days
Greenhouse / PolytunnelOptional for Early Crop
Seed Count500
Recommended Soil pH6.0-6.5

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[45 days] A staple favourite in the British garden, Salad Bowl lettuce is an award-winning non-heading variety with succulent, green leaves and a wonderful, mellow flavour. It’s both heat-resistant and long-standing, and will stay mild and sweet even as the months warm up. Its name comes from the fact that one plant will fill a salad bowl with no need for additional lettuce. The leaves are bright green and frilly and center around a lime-green rosette in the middle.

Awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

Starting out

Lettuce is a cool season crop that prefers a rich, well-drained soil and a pH above 6.5. It germinates best at temperatures from 4-16°C (40-60°F). Germination rates decline above 20°C (68°F).

Direct Seed: Sow at a seed depth of 6 to 12mm (¼ to ½”) in short rows about 30cm (12”) apart. Cover lightly, as the seeds need light to germinate (7-14 days). Thin to a spacing of 15 to 20cm (6-8”) once the seedlings are 2cm (1”) tall. For a continual harvest, make successional sowings every two weeks from spring to mid-summer.

Although most lettuce prefers growing temperatures from 16-18°C (60-65°F), Marvel of Four Seasons is slow to bolt, so there is a longer window of opportunity for both sowing and harvesting.


Plant direct
Water Plants

Maintenance

Keep lettuce plants consistently moist (but not water logged), particularly when the plants are around 2 weeks away from harvesting. Dry soil at this point will cause the plants to bolt, turning the leaves bitter. Applying mulch (grass clippings, straw, leaves, etc.) will help both to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist and cool.

The tastiest lettuce comes from rapid growth, but since lettuce has very shallow roots, it does best with a side dressing of compost a week or so after seedlings appear. Applying compost tea every few weeks will also help to give it its best flavour.

Harvesting

If the head of the lettuce is firm when gently pressed, it is ready to harvest. (The earlier the harvest, the more tender the crop will be.) Cut the heads off at 2" above ground level; new leaves will grow from the center. Make sure to harvest the head before the central stem begins to form. Once this happens the lettuce is going to seed and the leaves will become bitter. Alternatively, pick individual leaves before the head begins to form for a continual supply.

For maximum flavour and freshness, pick early in the morning and then refrigerate until use the same day.

For continuous crops plant successionally every 2 weeks.

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