Crisp, crunchy, and perfect for munching…that’s what makes the ideal lettuce plant! Boston Lettuce is one of those varieties that excel in this stereotype.
Read on to learn all there is to know about this delicious and versatile lettuce variety–from how to grow it, to how to enjoy it, the health benefits it offers, and more!
Characteristics of Boston Lettuce
A crisp and crunchy butterhead lettuce variety, Boston Lettuce is best known for the creamy, often velvet-soft leaves contained near the heart of its round, cabbage-like head.
Its appearance has been likened to that of a blooming rose, with the leaves taking on a similar, ruffled shape to rose petals. The heads grow fully above the ground and are of medium size when fully mature.
Occasionally, Boston Lettuce can be difficult to distinguish from the similar variety of Bibb Lettuce; however, Boston Lettuce tends to be paler green with broader leaves, as opposed to the narrow shape and darker complexion of the Bibb variety.
As it’s known for not being a particularly sturdy or long-lasting lettuce variety, Boston Lettuce does have noteworthy characteristics of quick wilting and breakage when handled too much or stored improperly.
It requires containment in a vegetable keeper drawer with moderate humidity in a lightly perforated bag in order to maintain that soft crispness for ideal consumption.
Everything You Need to Know About Boston Lettuce
Due to the size of Boston Lettuce leaves, as well as their shape and overall texture, this is the ideal lettuce variety for wraps. Folks who want to enjoy the essence of a sandwich experience but without the gluten of bread slices can easily substitute Boston Lettuce leaves!
Simply tuck some rolled-up deli meats and cheese into whole leaves, or stuff them with tuna salad, chicken salad, or your other preferred toppings.
You can also use these lettuce leaves as a substitute for things like burger buns or taco shells. For this tasty alternative, pack some seasoned ground beef, cheese, and other garnishes of choice into one of these broad lettuce leaves, and enjoy!
The crisp, lightly sweet, refreshing taste of this lettuce variety also marries quite well with creamy cheeses and fruits. This allows a lot of options for making fun appetizer wraps, such as cream cheese lettuce wraps with prosciutto, or just about anything you can think of!
And of course, there is always the salad base option. Boston Lettuce makes for a great chopped or hand-torn lettuce base for all kinds of salads, and its mild flavor ensures it will pair fantastically with all sorts of different dressings and salad toppings, including nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and so much more.
Lettuce is among the more nutritionally rich varieties of lettuce out there. It contains an excellent dose of vitamins A, B, C, and K, which help improve eyesight, balance energy levels, boost your immune system, reduce overall body inflammation, and much more.
In addition, this lettuce variety also offers such wonderful, vital nutrients as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and even sodium—all in healthy doses that are bioavailable and easy for your body to process and make use of.
Another, lesser-known nutrient found in Boston Lettuce is lactucarium. Studies have shown this to have a tranquilizing effect on the human body similar to that of opium—though of course, not anywhere near that extent.
Still, this particular lettuce has at times been recommended as a natural treatment for insomnia, intestinal spasms, and even heart palpitations due to the calming effects of lactucarium.
Growing At Home
For those who are eager to grow some Boston Lettuce at home, rejoice! This is actually considered one of the easiest lettuce varieties, and among the easiest gardening plants overall, to grow at home.
They are a low-maintenance, hardy lettuce variety that can tolerate colder weather and harsher conditions than even some of their contemporaries.
To start with, you will want to plant your seeds in well-draining soil with access to direct sunlight. You will want to do this when the weather is still cool and the soil is workable—typically early on in the spring.
This lettuce variety flourishes the most when temperatures remain below 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so planting in either early spring or early fall is best.
Your plants will need moderate rainfall or watering during their maturing phase; if you live in an area that receives ample springtime or autumn rainfall, you should not need to supplement.
However, if you measure soil dryness by piercing the soil with your finger up to the second knuckle and the earth feels dry at your fingertip, then it’s time to do some watering!
However, for the most part, this watering is all you will need to do! Boston Lettuce thrives relatively well on its own when simply left undisturbed.
Keep an eye out for any pests, keep the area free of weeds, and let your lettuce plants flourish!
Where To Buy Boston Lettuce
Boston Lettuce can be found at many supermarkets as it is one of the most popular lettuce varieties in distribution these days.
The seeds can also be found at many retailers, including nurseries, lawn and garden centers, and even grocery stores. There are lots of different Boston Lettuce varieties, so the only tricky thing can be picking one that best suits your desires!
If you are looking to source seeds online, we recommend the white Boston lettuce seeds offered by True Leaf Market; this is a Boston variety specifically bred to have more resistance to heat and humidity.
Wrapping Up Boston Lettuce
Before you get started planting Boston Lettuce in your home garden, be sure to check out our Lettuce Plant page. This is a great resource for learning about all things lettuce, how to grow and care for it, and so much more.