Let's talk lettuce!
I'm obsessing about lettuce! Our local produce market has begun carrying these beautiful baby lettuces that, while smallish, are fairly substantial. 3 little heads make enough salad for 3 of us. I want to track down the seeds and grow these lovelies for myself. I believe they are mini romaines and mini butterheads-- though quite crisp for a butterhead.
I've got regular loose leaf lettuce seeds planted and they've sprouted. Now, I'd like to dedicate another box to just these babies. I thought I'd see if anyone wanted to toss around some lettuce ideas or advice.
Lettuce plants of most types except iceberg can be harvested whole while small. Home gardeners for generations have used their thinnings from mesclun stage on up to full size. Bibb, romaine and leaf lettuce are particularly good, better while small than full size. Commercial growers have a different situation and are stuck with miniature varieties in many cases as harvesting by thinning is too labor intensive to be economically viable. This a is one of many cases where growing it yourself produces something that cannot be bought at equal quality.
The mini heads go by many different names. I like Tom Thumbs which are a butterhead variety. In the seed catalogs they're often referred to as single serving, patio, or container varieties in the descriptions. Scroll through the online seed catalogs to find them. I've seen the Burpee mini offerings in seed racks at local retailers as well.
There's all kinds of other mini greens available now too. Most recently I've seen and grown mini bok choy and cabbages. There's bitty carrots and bell peppers, and I vaguely remember seeing a mini beet in one of this year's catalogs. If you're limited to container gardening you may want to have a look at these as well.