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The Salad Greens Kitchen Garden

The Salad Greens Kitchen Garden 

There is nothing like a big, bold, colorful salad to enhance meals.  The colors and textures are so eye appealing it can look like a work of art.  Today’s salads don’t have to be the plain lettuce and tomato…unless that’s what you like.  A salad lover’s kitchen garden should also contain different colored sweet peppers, cucumbers, endive, radishes, various types of lettuce, maybe broccoli or cauliflower, radicchio, dandelion, onions, and of course tomatoes. 

There has been a revolution going on in salads for some time now.  Salad lovers have so many greens at their fingertips that it’s hard to know where to start.  You don’t only have to start with lettuce, but now with lettuce blends.  Even a small kitchen garden will let you grow a number of different greens, making it easy to spice up any salad. 

There are growing areas that won’t allow for tomatoes and lettuce to grow at the same time without difficultly.  However, with today’s greens, most of them grow quickly and are ready for harvest in about 6 weeks or less.  There are some varieties that do well, despite the cool-weather reputation. 

For a more complete list of lettuce, greens and other vegetables visit 

Some Lettuce (Crisphead/Iceberg) varieties: 

Great  Lakes  75 days.  This heirloom adds crunch to your salads.  A classic iceberg lettuce.  Use for baby greens also.  Source:  BOT 

Iceberg  85 days.  Light green outer leaves are crinkled and fringed.  The inner leaves are silvery white.  Source:  BAK BURP COM 

Iceberg lettuce 

 Iceberg     Photo courtesy Burpee 

Reine Des Glaces (Queen of the Ice, Ice Queen)  65-70 days.  French heirloom that thrives in cold.  Emerald-green, lacy leaves with serrated edges.  Stays crisp in heat.  Source:  BOU GOU JOH SEED TER TERR 

 Reine Des Glaces  lettuce 

Reine Des Glaces   Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Rouge Grenoblaise  55 days.  16” heads have glossy, ruffled rd leaves and is bolt resistant.  A French heirloom.  Source:  BAK COO 

Butterhead, Buttercrunch varieties: 

Amish Speckled Butterhead  60-70 days.  Lime-green leaves are speckled with red on outer leaves.  Large dense pink heart.  Source:  BOU 

Buttercrunch  48-75 days.  Green leaves and small tight head.  Slow to bolt.  Source:  ANN BOT BOU BURP COO JOH TER TERR THO 

 Buttercrunch lettuce 

Buttercrunch   Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Continuity (Merveille des 4 Saisons, Four Seasons, Marvel of 4 Seasons, Merveille Des Quatre Saisons)  54-56 days.  Deep burgundy leaves outside, creamy green leaves inside.  Compact 12-16” heads.  Source:  ANN BAK BOT BOU GOU JOHN SEED TER 

Deer Tongue  28 days.  Attractive, smooth buttercrunch type.  Tongue-shaped outer leaves.  Slow to bolt.  Source:  JOH JOHN 

Deer Tongue   lettuce 

Deer Tongue   Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

French Crisp, Batavia, Loose head varieties 

Mottistone  55 days.  Speckled Crisp/Batavia type.  Medium size upright plant.  Speckled leaves.  Source:  JOH 

Nevada summer Crisp  48 days.  Bright green leaves form dense loose head.  Source:  JOH 

 Nevada Summer Crisp lettuce 

Nevada Summer Crisp    Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Ruby Sky  58 days.  Full size loose heads.  Dense heads with ruffled leaves that are intense red at the tips and green at the inner base.  Source:  JOH 

Romaine varieties: 

Forellenschluss (Flashy Trout’s Back,  Spreckled Trout) 58-60 days.  An Austrian heirloom.  Green leaves with maroon markings, Thick midribs.  Grows quickly in cold weather, but bolts in heat.   Source:  ANN BAK BOU COO GOU JOH JOHN SEED SOU TER 

Forellenschluss lettuce 

Forellenschluss    Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Rouge D’Hiver (Red Winter)  60-62 days.  French heirloom has red and green leaves with red tips.  Forms semi-open romaine.  Best color comes in cooler weather.  Source:  ANN BAK BOT COM JOHN SEED SOU Rouge d Hiver lettuce 

Rouge d'Hiver    Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Loose leaf varieties: 

Green Oakleaf (Baltimore, Philadephia Oak Leaf)  1880s heirloom that withstands hot weather.  Never bitter.  Source:  SEE 

Midnight Ruffles  45 days.  Ruffled dark garnet-burgundy, almost black leaves have flounced, serrated edges and thick, dark midribs and veins.  Hold up well during hot spells.  Source:  JOHN 

Salad Bowl Red  45-50 days.  Large upright plants with long, deeply lobed bronze-red leaves.  Slow bolting.  Source:  JOH JOHN TERR 

 Salad Bowl Red 

Salad Bowl Red     Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected seeds 

Tango  50-60 days.  Frilly, deeply cut dark-green lettuce that looks like endive.  Widely adapted.  Source:  ANN BAK JOH JOHN SEED TER 

 Tango lettuce 

Tango    Photo courtesy Johnny's Selected Seeds 

Mesclun mix varieties: 

These are perfect for salad gardens.  Fast growing and includes everything from lettuces, chicory, radicchio, sprouts, mustards and more in a range of colors, textures, flavors and shapes.  You can buy almost any kind of seed blend for those cut-and-come-again salad greens.

Annie’s Lettuce Blend  Blend of heirloom lettuces.  Forellenschluss, Tango, Red Salad Bowl, Oak Leaf, Salad Bowl, Amish Deer Tongue, Rouge D’Hiver, Rossimo, and Cocarde.  Source:  ANN 

 Annies Lettuce Blend  Annies Heirloom Seeds 

Annie's Lettuce Blend      Photo courtesy Annie's Heirloom Seeds 

Asian Salad Greens  21-45 days.  Delicious mix of Asian greens for fresh or cooked.  Source:  BOT JOHN 

Bright and Spicy  30-50 days.  Blend of colored salad leaves, Pak Choy, Golden Yellow, Choy Sum, Mizuna, Greek and mustard Red Frills.  Source:  THO 

Frisee and Radicchio  50-60 days.  Tangy blend of Tres Fine Maraichere, Rossa di Verona radicchio and Castlefranco radicchio.  Source:  JOHN 

Heatwave Blend  50-60 days.  Heat and drought resistant varieties.  Source:  BURP COO 

 Heatwave Blend    Burpee 

Heatwave Blend     Photo courtesy Burpee 

Mistanza Salad Mix  Italian version of the French Mesclun.  Includes arugula, sorrel and corn salad.  Includes Rocket Salat, Italiko Roso Chicory, Catalogna a foglia Frastagilate chicory, Forellenschluss lettuce, Paris Island Cos, rouge D’Hiver lettuce, Lolla Rossa lettuce, Oak Leaf, Salad Bowl, Tango lettuces and endive di Ruffec.  Source:  ANN 

Pot & Patio Lettuce Blend  33-55 days.  Tailored specifically for container gardens.  2 loose leaf lettuces, 1 romaine, 1 butterhead.  Pom Pom, Merlot, Little Gem and Victoria.  Source:  TER 

Salad Bouquet  Harvest in about 35 days.  Includes ‘Fan Dance’ romaine with crisp, tear-shaped leaves and bittersweet flavor.  ‘King Crimson’ is a large-leaved bronze-red cos.  ‘Green Frills’ is crunchy, Lolla Rosa with frilly leaves.  Source:  COO 

Wild Garden Lettuce  50-70 days.  Literally dozens of varieties, including selections of lettuce that remain unnamed and not available anywhere else other than this mix.  Source:  SOU TER 

Wild Garden Pungent Mix  30-40 days.  Spicy mustard greens.  Gold, green, striped-red, and solid purple colors.  Leaves can be smooth, glossy, or savoyed, while edges range from plain, toothed or frilly.  Source:  TERR   


ANN   Annie’s Heirloom Seeds 

BAK   Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds 

BOT   Botanical Interests 

BOU   Bountiful Gardens 

BURP   Burpee 

COM   Comstock Seeds 

COO   The Cook’s Garden 

GOU   Gourmet Seed International 

JOH   Johnny’s Selected Seeds 

JOHN   John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds 

SEED   Seed Savers Exchange 

SOU   Southern Exposure Seed Exchange 

TER   Territorial Seed Company 

TERR   Terroir Seeds 

THO   Thompson & Morgan  

© Copyright by Karen Newcomb