Looking for the perfect lettuce to add to your home garden? Look no further than Oakleaf Lettuce! This Lettuce is sweet and has a mild flavor, making it a tasty addition to salads. And it’s relatively easy to grow, even for beginners.
Read on to learn all about growing, harvesting, and eating this leafy green!
Characteristics of Oakleaf Lettuce
Oakleaf lettuce is a type of butter lettuce, so it’s thin and soft, with a smooth, buttery texture. The plant has lobed leaves that resemble oak leaves (hence the name) and can have a bright green or deep burgundy color, depending on the variety.
Oakleaf Lettuce Varieties
Oakleaf lettuce comes in both green and red varieties. Popular varieties include salad bowl green lettuce and salad bowl red lettuce, but there are plenty of others to choose from, too.
Growing Oakleaf Lettuce
This lettuce is great to keep in your garden, as it’s easy to grow and useful to keep around. See below for instructions and tips for growing the plant yourself.
Oakleaf Lettuce is a hardy plant that does best in cool weather. It’s a fairly tolerant crop that can grow in a range of soils, and it can survive some frost. However, these conditions are ideal for planting Oakleaf Lettuce:
- Temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit
- Full sun (in cooler months) or partial shade (in warmer months)
- Soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8
- Soil should be cool and well-drained
Planting Your Oakleaf Lettuce
Because this lettuce is a cool weather plant, it’s best to begin planing in the spring or fall. If you plant it in the summertime, it may not be able to withstand the heat.
You can plant seeds directly in the soil outdoors, or you can plant them indoors to transplant the seedlings later. If planting seeds outdoors, dig a hole in the soil that is 1/8 inch deep for your seeds. Plant them one inch apart, in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. As they become seedlings, thin the area so that they are 12 inches apart and have plenty of room to grow.
If you’re planting the seeds indoors first, start three to four weeks before you plan to transplant them outside. Plant two to three seeds per cell, 1/4 inch deep. The plant should be kept cool while germinating, so make sure it’s kept out of direct sunlight.
As the seedlings become ready to be moved outdoors, harden them by reducing water supply two days prior to transplant. Then, transplant them 12 inches apart, again in rows 12 to 18 inches apart.
Regardless of whether you opt for direct sowing or transplanting, you can continue to sow seeds every three weeks for a continuous supply of lettuce.
Caring for Your Oakleaf Lettuce
Oakleaf Lettuce requires relatively little care and maintenance. Fertilizer should be added before planting, so once the seedlings begin to grow, there is no need to worry about this step anymore.
The most important thing is to keep your soil most. You can use mulch to help the soil retain water and should water your plant every four days.
Additionally, although this lettuce can survive frost, I recommend protecting your crop with a blanket if frost is expected.
Harvesting Oakleaf Lettuce
Oakleaf Lettuce can be harvested while the plant is young; you can harvest baby greens after about 30 days. Or, if you want to wait until you have a mature head of lettuce, you can harvest it in 50 to 60 days.
To harvest the baby lettuce, use scissors cut the leaves above the base of the plant. This will allow more leaves to regrow in their place. If you’re harvesting the mature lettuce, use a garden knife to cut the entire head of the plant from the base. It should be about eight to 10 inches tall when it’s ready to harvest.
Eating Oakleaf Lettuce
How Oakleaf Lettuce Tastes
Like other butter lettuces, this lettuce has a soft, smooth texture and a mellow flavor. It lacks the bitterness that many other lettuces have, and is instead mild and sweet, with a slight nutty taste.
Using Oakleaf Lettuce in Your Cooking
Because of its sweet and mellow taste, this lettuce is the perfect ingredient to use as the base of salads and bowls.
For a hardy and filling meal made with Red Oakleaf Lettuce, try a Red Oakleaf Powerbowl Salad. Or, for something refreshing but just as delicious, try Green Oakleaf in this Peach and Oakleaf Salad. You can also mix Red and Green Oakleaf together in a salad like this Summer Oakleaf Salad.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and try your own salad recipe with your favorite ingredients!
Health Benefits of Oakleaf Lettuce
It’s probably no surprise that lettuce is low in calories and fat. But, did you know it can help keep you hydrated and provide you with other important vitamins and dietary needs?
Like other varieties of lettuce, Oakleaf Lettuce has a high water content, which is great for hydration. It’s also a great source of vitamins A and K, which are important for your vision, immune system, blood, and healthy bones. Green Oakleaf contains high levels of Vitamin C, another important vitamin for your immune system. Red Oakleaf, on the other hand, is high in antioxidants and flavonoids.
Where to Buy Oakleaf Lettuce Seeds
Ready to try Oakleaf Lettuce but not sure where to start? Oakleaf is a common type of lettuce that you can find at major retailers like Whole Foods and local grocery chains. It’s also common in spring mixes that these stores often carry.
If you’re interested in growing the plant yourself, you can purchase seeds for many different Oakleaf varieties online.
If you’re looking for green lettuce, consider these options:
For red varieties, consider the following:
Oakleaf Lettuce – Mild, Sweet, and Easy to Grow
As you can see, Oakleaf Lettuce is a great variety of lettuce to keep on hand. It’s tasty and makes the perfect addition to a variety of salads and bowls. Plus, it’s easy to grow, so you can keep your supply flowing.
Interested in learning even more about lettuce? Visit our Lettuce Page for more varieties, growing tips, and other helpful information!