Winter Density

AT A GLANCE

A hardy, winter lettuce with a unique texture, Winter Density is an older English variety that is perfect for over-wintering and early spring gardens. Super easy to grow, with an excellent flavour and a texture that runs somewhere between a butterhead and a romaine, Winter Density is an ideal choice for beginning and expert gardeners alike.

More details

SunFull
Germination7 - 14 Days
Sowing MethodStart in Pots / Trays
Days to Maturity70 Days
Greenhouse / PolytunnelOptional for Early Crop
Seed Count500
Recommended Soil pH6.0-6.5

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[65 days] If you’re looking for an excellent lettuce to over winter, look no further. Winter Density is excellent for our British climes and needs next to no maintenance. Its compact, dark green heads average about 16cm tall and are both heat and cold tolerant (though they need cooler temperatures to germinate).

The texture is best described as a Buttercrunch—somewhere between a bibb and a romaine style of lettuce—and it retains its flavour throughout the season. Its compact heads work well in densely planted gardens and it’s not subject to many pests or diseases. Very tasty in salads and sandwiches.

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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