Finding the ancient origin of a popular food is always intriguing, especially if it leads to a new adventure in the kitchen. Take ordinary lettuce. The oldest lettuce type is the upright, long-leaved Romaine, its ancestor on full display in Egyptian bas-reliefs from the third millennium B.C. The French name Romaine, a reference to its presence in papal gardens, merely points to a step along the journey to modern times. Its other common name, cos lettuce, links it to the Greek Island of Kos. But that, too, was a way station, according to William Woys Weaver in “100 Vegetables and Where They Came From.
A good source of Dietary Fiber, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Potassium and Manganese.
Sun: Full Sun
Optimum Soil ph: 6.2-6.8
Days To Maturity: 45-55
Sowing Method: Outdoor Sow
Choose an area with full sun to partial shade and a soil pH of 6.2-6.8. Lettuce is a heavy feeder and prefers a rich, well cultivated soil with good drainage. Some success can be expected even in poor soils using the loose-leaf lettuce types. Add plenty of compost or well rotted manure prior to planting lettuce. lettuce benefits from regular feedings with a nitrogen rich fertilizer. Mulching is useful to keep soil cool and reduce weeds.