LETTUCE Marvel of Four Seasons – 150 HEIRLOOM seeds
Both tasty and attractive, this 1800s French heirloom also known as Merveille de Quatre Saisons has tender, sweet leaves that are green at the base, turning to a beautiful cranberry-red, and forming a crinkly rosette that almost looks like a flower! If kept moist, it won't turn bitter when the heat arrives. Rosettes are 20cm – 30cm in diameter, good for large containers.
Care & Sowing Instructions
Sow approx. 5mm deep direct or in punnets throughout the year, except during extreme hot or cold days or other types of extreme weather. The plant prefers a FULL SUN position, however, partial shade could greatly extend the lettuce growing season, especially in summer.
The plant emerges in 2-10 days depending upon weather and growing conditions.
Harvest baby leaves in 28 days and full size in 50-70 days.
Keep moist during dry weather. Don’t pull the entire plant; keep harvesting leaves to encourage further tender growth.
Protect from the heat with a shade cloth. Likes fertile soil and ample water. Best when picked minutes before your meal.
Sprouting Lettuce Seed in Warm Weather
In warmer temperatures, imbibing or soaking the seeds in water for at least 16 hours before planting in a well-lit area will increase the germination percentages greatly. Red light has been found to be the best color, but many home gardeners won’t have access to a non-heating red light and sunlight or full-spectrum light was found to be almost as good. Soaking the seeds in the dark in warmer conditions decreased their germination rates.
Another technique that has shown to be successful is to soak the seeds in cool water in a well-lit area for 16 – 24 hours. This approach has increased the germination rate up to 97% when planted in warmer conditions. Soaking for less than 16 hours has little to no positive effect on germination.
Other successful methods of extending the season for lettuce in the garden include laying a thick mulch of straw or wood chips on the ground of at least 4-6 cm. This insulates the soil from becoming too hot and drying out too fast and helps to preserve moisture in the soil.
Shading the lettuce plants can give enough of a temperature drop to keep them from bolting, sometimes up to 3 – 5 weeks. Shade can be from a shade cloth on a row cover or hoop type structure or companion planting of tall wide leafed plants such as some types of pumpkin.
The traditional rule of thumb of “plant early and the plant often” for lettuce can also be said as “plant late and the plant often”, but some of the more heat tolerant varieties, along with soaking in the light and providing some mulch and shade can greatly extend your lettuce season in the garden this year.
Propagation note will be supplied with the seed packet for your convenience.
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