Overwintering Lettuce

sweetwilliam89(5b)September 8, 2012

When (hopefully I'm not too late) should I plant lettuce in 5b for overwintering? I'm hoping to get a crop so it could be harvested late March-early April or so. Also does anyone have any variety recommendations for overwintering lettuce?

Thank you

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daedwood

here in Austraila i can grow lettuce all year round and it can tasted sweeter in winter too but if you think it may be a little too cool in your area try using a coldframe and there should be little to no problem.

Here is a link that might be useful: organic gardeing

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:16AM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

In 5b you'd most definitely need a cold frame or a tunnel.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:36AM
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planatus(6)

In 5b the best way to get early lettuce is to start seeds indoors in late winter and set them out under cloches or in a frame in March. A few varieties like Winter Density will overwinter, but repeated freezes make the leaves a funny texture that is not wonderful. Deer, rabbits, etc think winter lettuce is for them.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 6:48AM
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sweetwilliam89(5b)

I definitely agree with the idea of using low tunnels or cold frames. We have both and I was considering using the tunnel for sure (if not both). We use the cold frame in early spring/late winter to harden off transplants and it can get rather crowded, but I was hoping to get a big enough lettuce crop to just tide over till the early planted lettuce gets started to get the season of fresh salads going a bit earlier.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:20PM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

Plant you lettuce in early March, it will be ready to harvest in early April.

Anything you plant now will be ready in 21-30 days. Last year I transplanted lettuce in November, harvest after Christmas. Direct seeded lettuce on December 30th, harvested in March. This was inside a high tunnel.

Jay

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:27AM
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elisa_z5

I'm in 5b and I plant in September for overwintering lettuce -- some of it under fleece, and some outside, it all does fine. I've bought lots of winter lettuces -- winter density, rouge d'hiver, etc -- but then the volunteer red sails and black seeded simpson, out in the open under feet of snow, do really well just to show me I didn't need to go though all that fuss. And yes, it's great in March and April (spinach too!)

Jay - your lettuce grows a lot faster than mine! Mine grows really slow once it's cooler and shorter days, which is why I plant in Sept for spring harvest.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:11PM
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daedwood

i agree with elisa_Z5 spinach and swisschard is a good alternative to lettuce in the winter as i know that the swisschard can be used in salads with very little to no cooking. and it tasted great toooo Mmmmmmmm

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:41PM
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