Botanical Name: Lactuca sativa
Days to Maturity: 26–68 days
Native: Unknown; lettuce has been in cultivation for a long time.
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual
Plant Dimensions: Leaves are harvested at 4"–6" tall for mesclun.
Variety Information: BUTTERHEAD: 'MARVEL OF FOUR SEASONS': Reddish, crinkled leaves with cranberry-red tips. LEAF LETTUCES: 'LOLLA ROSA': Deeply curled leaves with very frilly, red edges. 'REDINA': Wine-red puckered leaves, slow to bolt. 'RED OAK LEAF': Deeply lobed, oak leaf shaped red leaves, mild flavor, slower to bolt. 'RED SALAD BOWL': Deeply lobed red leaves. ROMAINE LETTUCES: 'ROUGE D'HIVER': Green leaves tinged with reddish-brown; rich, buttery flavor. 'RUBEN'S RED': Leaves are burgundy with an emerald green base.
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 40°F, ideally 60°–70°F. Successive Sowings: Every 3 weeks until 2 weeks before your average first fall frost date. Mild Climates: Sow in fall and winter for cool season harvests.
When to Start Inside: Transplanting is not recommended, although mesclun can be grown indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights.
Days to Emerge: 5–14 days
Seed Depth: Surface to ⅛"
Seed Spacing: Broadcast about ½" apart
Thinning: Not necessary
Harvesting: Harvest leaves with scissors 2" above the soil surface. Mesclun will regrow and provide 2–3 harvests, although the first harvest is usually the best. If you wish to harvest mature heads, cut off at 2" above ground level as soon as possible after head forms; new leaves will grow form the center. The earlier the harvest, the more tender the crop.