Great Lakes

AT A GLANCE

A popular iceberg lettuce that’s been a family and restaurant favourite for decades. Known for its extra crisp heads that pack the perfect crunch. Great for salads and sandwiches.

More details

SunFull
Germination7 - 14 Days
Sowing MethodStart in Pots / Trays
Days to Maturity100 Days
Greenhouse / PolytunnelOptional for Early Crop
Seed Count500
Recommended Soil pH6.0-6.5

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[70-80 days spring/summer; 90-100 days fall] An All-America Selections winner in 1944, this first true iceberg lettuce remains a favourite for both home gardens and restaurants alike. They are both low maintenance and easy to grow, and their large, crisp heads pack the perfect. Crunch. It can be grown almost anywhere and does well in containers or small gardens. It also tolerates light frost, is heat and cold tolerant and has a strong resistance to bolting and tip burn. The heads are large, glistening and well-folded and the fine-flavoured leaves offer a crisp texture. If you’re fond of iceberg lettuce, then Great Lakes is the variety for you!

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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