days to maturity: 48 days
plant spacing: 2 plants per square foot
sunlight requirements: 8 -14 hours
look out for: slugs and cabbage root maggots
harvest notes: cut whole heads at soil level when they are compact and firm and before seed stalks form usually 50 to 80 after sowing.
When shopping for lettuce head varieties it is of most importance that you get “heat tolerant” varieties. Many of the fancy varieties like “speckled deer tongue” wont grow well in our hot winter months, and they will respond to the heat by “bolting”, which makes them inedible. When your lettuce starts to get “tall” like its reaching to the sky, that means it's bolting; aka trying to flower and reproduce. “Slow bolt” is another important lettuce attribute for south Florida. “Cherokee Lettuce” is Johnny Select Seeds most heat tolerant red variety. Red and purple attributes are heightened by cold weather, so don’t expect your red head lettuce to get super dark, but it will be beautiful on the plate, crisp and sweet.
Image courtesy of Johnny's Select Seed.