Lettuce is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods in the world. With dozens of different types of lettuce, there’s also plenty of variety to choose from.
If you’re looking for a new type of lettuce to grow in your garden or purchase at the grocery store, you should consider summercrisp lettuce. This article will discuss everything there is to know about this delicious lettuce, including how to grow it and a bit about its history.
What Is Summercrisp Lettuce?
Summercrisp lettuce gets its name because of its ability to grow in hot temperatures as opposed to other lettuce varieties. It’s also known as Batavian or French Crisp lettuce and is the name of a group of lettuces.
A few of the most popular summercrisp varieties include Cherokee, Pablo, Cardinale, Red Ball, and Nevada. Because of its resistance to heat summercrisp lettuce is growing rapidly in popularity, especially in warmer climates such as Florida, Arizona, and Texas.
Characteristics of Summercrisp Lettuce
Shape and Size
Summercrisp looks like many other types of lettuce in shape, size, and color. When they’re young and immature, summercrisp lettuce is very loose and open.
However, as it ages and grows in maturity, the lettuce gets tighter and more compact, almost like a hard shell. It doesn’t get as tight or hard as a ball of iceberg lettuce, but similarly so.
When full-grown, this lettuce grows up to 10″ tall and 10″ round, but it can also be as small as 6″ in height and circumference. During all stages of growth, the lettuce is round and circular, like a ball.
Internal and External Color
Like most types of lettuce, summercrisp is green during all stages of growth. However, there are several different types of lettuce within the summercrisp category, and not all are green.
For example, Red Ball lettuce is nearly completely red on the inside and outside instead of green. Additionally, several other lettuces, including Pablo, Cherokee, and Cardinale, are green around the base and stems but reddish towards the outer edges of the lettuce.
Taste and Texture
While different types of summercrisp lettuces have varying colors, they all have similar tastes and textures. Summercrisp is notoriously sweet and crunchy in comparison to other lettuces.
It’s not bitter like other lettuce varieties and has a smooth, sweet taste and mouthfeel. Other lettuce varieties will also wither, lose their crunch, and get more bitter the warmer the weather gets.
Summercrisp, however, doesn’t lose its taste or texture when the temperatures rise. Instead, it stays as delicious as ever, regardless of how warm or cold it is outside.
Health Benefits of Summercrisp Lettuce
Like all types of lettuce, summercrisp has undeniable health benefits and qualities.
- Because of how sweet summercrisp is, it makes a perfect treat with or without other ingredients.
- Lettuce is rich in Vitamin A, C, Vitamin K, and carotene, amongst many other things. By eating several helpings of summercrisp lettuce, you can get all of your daily dietary needs for these vitamins and minerals.
- Lettuce has folates and other ingredients that help your digestive system.
- The vitamins and minerals in lettuce help boost your immune system.
- It contains an ingredient known as zeaxanthin that helps protect your eyes from UV radiation in sunlight.
- Among the many minerals lettuce has, it’s rich in potassium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. These minerals play an important role in strengthening your bones, immune system, heart, lungs, and cellular function.
- Lettuce also has B-complex vitamins and riboflavin, and thiamin.
- Regularly eating summercrisp lettuce will help reduce the risk of various diseases, including anemia, iron deficiency, osteoporosis, certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, and many more.
Simply put, if you’re only going to have one vegetable in your diet, it should be lettuce. It’s a great all-encompassing option for boosting your immune system, cardiovascular health, and bones.
Growing Summercrisp Lettuce At Home
Lettuce like nutritious, organic soil with compost and fertilizer to aid it during its growth. It’s also best when the soil temperatures are between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lettuce needs plenty of water and hydration, so choose soil that’s well-draining but holds moisture during dry spells.
Space each lettuce plant between four and five inches apart and plant the seeds 1/2″ to 2″ deep.
Lettuce doesn’t require pruning, but it will benefit from it. To prune lettuce, use scissors or shears to trim the outer edges of the lettuce.
Be sure not to cut too much lettuce away, as it could damage the plant.
While lettuce needs exceptional amounts of water, it doesn’t require as much as other plants. On average, you should water lettuce with 1/2″ of water two to three times per week.
Reduce watering as the plant matures.
Summercrisp lettuce likes full sun, but it doesn’t require it. Other lettuce varieties will begin to wilt and die if they’re in the sun for too long, but not summercrisp.
So, while summercrisp does well with plenty of sun, it can also thrive in cooler temperatures and limited sun.
Pests to Watch Out For
Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only beings that like summercrisp lettuce. They’re also a favorite of certain pests.
Common Lettuce Diseases
You should also watch out for wilt, mildew, and bacterial spot.
Harvesting This Lettuce
Once you’ve put the hard work in and nurtured your summercrisp lettuce to maturity, it’s time to harvest it. Harvesting summercrisp is very similar to harvesting other types of lettuce.
As soon as the leaves begin to ripen to a healthy green or red, you can start harvesting them one at a time. Or, you can wait until the entire plant is ripe and harvest the entire thing at once.
To harvest the entire plant, cut it off at the base once it’s fully ripened. You can tell when the plant is ripe for harvest because it will be firm and crispy rather than flimsy and soggy.
Where to Buy Summercrisp Lettuce Seeds
If you want to grow your own summercrisp lettuce, you can purchase the seeds at Amazon. However, if you simply want to purchase summercrisp after it’s full-grown, you can do so at most grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
Wrapping Up Everything You Need to Know About Summercrisp Lettuce
As you can see, there’s plenty to love about summercrisp lettuce. It’s a delicious, healthy treat that you can enjoy with the whole family.
It’s also a great lettuce option if you want to grow lettuce in cool climates as well as hot. For more information about summercrisp and other lettuce varieties, check out our lettuce page.