Black-Seeded Simpson lettuce is a popular ruffled leaf lettuce with tender leaves that have outstanding flavor. Lettuce is a good source of vitamin A and potassium, as well as a minor source for several other vitamins and nutrients. Scientific research into the genetic modification of lettuce is ongoing, with over 85 field trials taking place between 1992 and 2005 in the European Union and United States to test modifications allowing greater herbicide tolerance, greater resistance to insects and fungi and slower bolting patterns. Thankfully, however, genetically modified lettuce is not currently used in commercial agriculture.
A bright green, ruffled leaf lettuce
Seasonal preference: Spring, Fall, Winter
Germination duration: 5 to 7 days
Germination conditions: Light
Days to maturity: 30 to 48 days
Companion plants: Beets, Carrots, Parsnips, Radishes, Strawberries
Incompatible plants: Cabbage family
Seed description: Tiny black half-moon shaped
First leaves description: Oblong, smooth with rounded edges
True leaves description: Oblong, ruffled edges
Thinning time: Once seedlings reach 8-in tall
Final spacing: 4 to 6-in
Plant height: 6 to 7-in
Plant spread: 4 to 5-in
Root depth: 6 to 9-in
Light preference: Full sun to partial shaded (east facing) in summer
Moisture preference: Well-drained, moist
Soil preference: 6.2 to 6.8 pH cool, loose
Produce size: 8 to 12-in
Produce yield: Multiple leaves
Flavor: Delicate, mild
Can withstand temps to 20-degrees; harvest when plant reaches full height. Entire plants can be harvested in mid-development while the leaves are still plump and tender, but before a stem has started to form. Many varieties of loose-leaf lettuce can be harvested numerous times during a single growing season after being cut approximately 1" above the ground.
Cut or gently tear away leaves from the outer perimeter of each plant, harvesting only what you need for that meal. Frequent harvesting allows the lettuce plant to continue producing more leaves during the growing season.
Fresh (Raw), Fresh (Cooked)
Place unwashed leaves in plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic storage bag, if you don't want to use them immediately. Store the lettuce in the refrigerator at temperatures no lower than 35 degrees Fahrenheit.