Lovers of crispy, crunchy lettuce will want to learn about a new variety you may not have heard of before.
Igloo lettuce is deliciously crispy with great flavor and texture that’s perfect for all kinds of yummy dishes.
Read on to learn all about igloo lettuce, how to grow it, and where you can find it.
Characteristics of Igloo Lettuce
Igloo lettuce is a type of iceberg lettuce that grows as a head rather than loose leaves or from a stalk.
Large, bright green leaves with frilled edges curve inward around a central core. Heads of this lettuce can grow to around 9 to 15 inches tall.
This variety is known for its mild flavor and exceptional crispness.
The Best Ways to Eat Igloo Lettuce
Igloo lettuce has large leaves that are very versatile and have a cool, satisfying crunch.
You can use the broad and substantial leaves in place of sandwich bread, burger buns, or wraps. They hold up well and won’t fall apart on you.
Another great recipe for igloo lettuce leaves is spring rolls. Roll your ingredients up inside a leaf or include it with other fillings inside a piece of rice paper for extra crunch.
Of course, it makes a great iceberg wedge salad. You can cut the full head into quarters, drizzle with your favorite salad dressing, and sprinkle on the toppings.
For a more traditional dish, chop or tear the leaves to make a bright, crunchy salad that pairs well with all your favorite flavors.
Lay a few leaves down on top of a burger patty or sliced deli meats and cheeses for added texture and light flavor.
Igloo lettuce also makes a beautiful and edible bed for roast chicken or other veggies to elevate your plating and presentation skills.
Grow Igloo Lettuce at Home
Igloo lettuce is great to grow in your home garden because it’s an easy and low-maintenance crop.
Unlike a lot of other lettuce varieties, it’s very heat resistant. That means you can still grow it successfully even if you live in an area with higher summer temperatures.
Its tolerance for heat also makes this variety great for spring, summer, and fall plantings. Where a lot of lettuce varieties are best planted in the spring and fall only, this type has a much longer growing season.
It grows quickly and matures early too, so it’s perfect for multiple plantings, so you always have fresh lettuce ready to harvest.
Igloo lettuce can also be grown in pots and containers inside or out. If you don’t have the outdoor space for a full garden, this is the perfect variety for you.
Your seeds can be started inside or outside. If you plan to start them inside and transplant the seedlings, start inside four to six weeks before moving them outside.
For both seeds and seedlings, wait until after the last hard frost before you bring them out into the garden.
Seeds should be planted 4 inches apart if you aren’t using trays. Place your seeds just barely below the surface and only cover them lightly with soil so light can still reach them. Keep the soil moist to help soften the seeds enough for them to sprout.
Stagger plantings of seeds every few weeks or so to give you consistent harvests at different times.
Mix well-rotted compost into your soil before sowing seeds or planting seedlings to give them all the nutrition they need.
Your lettuce seeds should germinate within 2 to 15 days of planting.
Igloo lettuce prefers full sun or partial shade. Consider planting shade crops nearby if you live in a hot area that gets exceptionally high temperatures and harsh sun during the day.
Water your lettuce regularly and keep the soil damp but not overly soggy. Apply fertilizer monthly so your plants have adequate nutrients.
Growing lettuce is an attractive snack for backyard critters like rabbits, groundhogs, and deer. If you have wildlife that visits your yard, you may need to put up a barrier of some kind for protection.
Igloo lettuce does well planted with crops like parsley and carrots, which should be planted at the same time.
As the plants get bigger, start to thin out the weaker plants to give the stronger ones more space.
Weed around your lettuce plants regularly, so they don’t have to compete with invasive weeds.
Harvesting Igloo Lettuce
Igloo lettuce will be ready to harvest after about 70 days from planting.
If you aren’t totally sure, one way you can test if it’s ready to go is to gently squeeze the head. It should feel tight and firm at full maturity.
You can pick off outer leaves as needed, but it’s best to harvest the full head at once. Any individual leaves you pick should be used immediately before they get a chance to wilt.
To harvest, cut the lettuce at the base with a very sharp knife or pull up the whole plant with the roots intact. Keeping the full head together will give you a longer shelf life.
Where to Buy Igloo Lettuce
While Igloo lettuce is part of a popular and common family of lettuces, you can’t always find this exact variety.
Fortunately, True Leaf Market has some very similar varieties you can grow. Try Crisphead Great Lakes Mesa or Coolguard to get a comparable flavor and texture.
Fresh Igloo Lettuce
To see if you can find fresh heads of this crunchy and delicious lettuce, check the produce section at your local grocery stores.
You might not find this exact variety, but there are many similar types of lettuce that will give you the same satisfying crunch you’re looking for.
You’ll Love Igloo Lettuce
Igloo lettuce is a crowd-pleaser that’s easy to grow yourself, even if you live in a climate that isn’t ideal for most other lettuce varieties.
It’s delicious and versatile in the kitchen with so many different and delicious ways you can use it.
Check out all the other varieties of lettuce out there on our Lettuce Page!