GOURMET LETTUCE BOWL
A minimum of 10 different organic leaf lettuces artfully arranged in a 14” plastic bowl. As you pick young leaves, plants will re-grow, giving you fresh gourmet salads for a minimum of two months (I've had reports of bowls lasting through to first frost). My special soil blend needs no additional fertilizing - just keep the bowl watered and enjoy!

For best results, while temperatures are still reasonably cool, bowl should be placed in full sun. As the heat of summer moves in (above 75º), relocate the bowl to partial shade and even full shade or a garage, if temperatures soar.

Lettuces are 'cool season' crop and are genetically programmed to 'bolt' (i.e. - go to seed) when temperatures are consistently elevated. That is why I recommend moving the bowls into complete shade, if necessary.

Keeping the bowls evenly moist at all times will also extend the life of the plants. Lettuce is comprised almost entirely of water, if allowed to dry out it will get bitter and go to seed prematurely.

 
 
 




SUCCESS TIP #1: "MY BOWL COMPLETELY DRIED OUT AND ALL THE LETTUCE IS WILTED"

This tip will work most of the time, but will depend on how long it had been dried out.

Fill a bucket or anything bigger than the salad bowl with at least eight inches of water. Using two hands, hold either side of the salad bowl and place your thumbs on the soil in the bowl (you'll see why in a second). SLOWLY begin to submerge the salad bowl into the water. The soil will start to lift out of the bowl (this is why your thumbs are in place to hold it down). Keep pushing the bowl under the water until it is completely submerged and NO MORE AIR BUBBLES are coming up.

What you've done is rehydrated the core of the bowl. You should probably cut back all the lettuces to about 3 inches or so high. Put the bowl in a shady place and forget about it for at least 3 or 4 days. Within a week, you will see new growth appear.

SUCCESS TIP #2: "I'm leaving on vacation and I don't have anyone to water my bowl"

Depending on how hot it is and how long you will be gone, this trick should work for at least a long weekend. Find a bowl or saucer that is bigger than the salad bowl itself. Fill it with water and set the salad bowl inside of it. Now you have a quasi-self watering system.

A couple of tidbits that are noteworthy:

- If you will be away in the heat of the summer, then this will work for a few days. But, it is not a long term solution. For one, because eventually the water in the bowl will be used up or evaporate, but more importantly, you don't want to keep the salad bowl mix too wet, or the roots will rot.

- If you need to be gone for an extended period of time ( say a week or more), you might be better off to trim the whole bowl down to 3 to 4 inch stubs, water it well and put it in a cool garage or even your house. Trimming the plants will slow down photosynthesis and combined with the cooler temperatures and shade, it will slow things down even further.

- Lastly, have a friend or relative babysit it for you. But, don't be upset if you don't get it back. <grin>

Below are the varieties of lettuces that you may find in your salad bowl. Not all bowls will have all varieties (there are way more than 10 varieties listed).

I've had folks ask in the past if I could (or would) label each of the varieties in the bowls. The short answer is 'no'. The long answer is that every single bowl is different. Yes, every single one. Why? Because YOU demanded so. Some folks I've learned really don't care for red lettuces, some want mostly romaine types, some want.... well, you get the point.

I've decided to leave the previous years catalog here so that you can figure out which varieties you have, if you're so inclined. As you may have noticed, I am no longer selling individual lettuces. Why? Because YOU decided that for me.

In the three years time that I began offering the salad bowls, I went from selling 15 to over 200 in 2013. Again, I have YOU to thank. I'm not going to fix what isn't broke.

Australian Yellowleaf                                                                   Loose leaf  (50 days)

Vibrant, light yellow-green leaves grow rapidly to form large crinkled loose heads. The heads can reach 12 to 16" in diameter!! Make sure you give this one plenty of room. Tender texture with slightly sweet, good flavor. Highly recommended spring lettuce. Good bolt resistance.

 

Origin: Australia

Bibb                                                                                                   Butterhead  (55 days)

Broad wavy green outer leaves encompass more tightly bound and yellow tinted inner leaves. Together they form a rosette of leaves that have sweet, nutty and mild flavors paired with textures both buttery and crispy. Tender leaves require a gentle touch during washing and preparation. Carefully remove the core, immerse the loose leaves in cold water, drain, and pat dry. Use as a wrap for other foods or a bed for seafood salads.

Origin: US – over 150 years old. Named for its original cultivator, John Bibb. In 1865 he grew his special Bibb lettuce in Kentucky's alkaline soil. This variety, also called limestone, would become the first American gourmet lettuce.

Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce

Black-Seeded Simpson                                                                 Loose leaf  (50 days)

Hugely popular for over 150 years, it's one of the most tender and delicately flavored leaf lettuces ever bred. The ruffled leaves are large with an appealing green color. One of the most easily grown and most reliable varieties. Does not stand up well in the heat.

Origin: Probably originally from England circa 1850, this heirloom was introduced by Peter Henderson & Co. of New York around 1875.

Buttercrunch                                                                               Butterhead  (60 days)

Thick, crumpled, dark green leaves on the outside, blanching to creamy white at the center, forming small rosette heads. Crisp and yet buttery texture. Heads average 6 -8 inches in height. Long standing, tolerating the heat better than others. Resists bolting.

Origin: An open-pollinated lettuce developed by George Raleigh of Cornell University in the mid-20th Century and released in the sixties to win the All-American Selection award in 1963.

Cimmaron                                                                               Romaine / Cos  (65 days)

Beautiful deep red romaine heads are crisp with a creamy yellow-bronze center. Tender with a great flavor. Large, 10-12” tall and 10" wide, sturdy plants rarely ever bolt. Cimarron will stand out due to its color, texture and taste! Superior heat tolerance, however red color develops best in cooler weather.  


Origin: An American 18th century heirloom.

Flame                                                                                            Loose leaf  (60 days)

Distinct rich brownish red, almost purplish, color on very ruffled leaves. A real knockout! A fast grower that’s slow to bolt. Superb mild flavor. This will add beauty to any salad!



 

Origin: Commercial introduction 1985 by Harris Moran.

Freckles aka Forellenschluss                                                   Romaine / Cos  (55 days)

While the shape of a romaine – loose upright rosettes- this lettuce has the texture and flavor of butterhead lettuces. The leaves are smooth, slightly waxy and very thin, tearing easily. Their color is striking – pale green with blood-red freckles and a light pink stem. Its flavor nutty with a sweet finish. It can be grown as a baby lettuce or mature lettuce variety as it achieves its trademark coloring early in its growth. Its tolerance for heat and sun make it a good choice variety for hotter climates in the summer months.


Origin: Literally translates to "speckled like a trout's back". Heirloom from Arche Noah, the Austrian genetic preservation project. William Woys Weaver traced 'Forellenschluss' back to 1793; it was a dwarf variety of ‘Spotted Aleppo’ developed in Germany.

Grand Rapids                                                                                Loose leaf  (45 days)

A long standing favorite, this lettuce produces medium-large loose heads. Bright green leaves are wavy and crinkled with serrated edges. Slow to wilt after cutting. Crisp, tender and tasty. Resistant to heat.



Origin: A late 1800’s variety developed somewhere near the vicinity of Grand Rapids, MI.


Grandpa Admire's                                                                       Butterhead  (60 days)

Pale green leaves are tinged with shades of bronze and red. Large loose heads. Mild fine flavor, slow to bolt, tender longer than most, even in extreme heat.  
 

Origin: In 1977, 90-year-old Chloe Lowry gave this family heirloom to SSE. It is named after her grandfather, George Admire, who was a Civil War veteran born in 1822. It passed through generations in northern Missouri.

Jericho                                                                                    Romaine / Cos  (55 days)

One of the most heat-tolerant romaine’s available. The light green, upright paddle-shaped leaves remain crisp and sweet, even in hot weather. Extremely bolt resistant remaining sweet, tender and crisp under the early summer sun. As with many of the romaine-types, ‘Jericho’ is a cut and come again variety.    

 

Origin: Israel

Key Lime                                                                                       Butterhead (60 days)

Lime green heads with a sweet, unique buttery flavor. The large heads can grow up to 1 pound. It has done very well in tests throughout the United States, and seems resistant to most lettuce diseases. A very slow bolting variety.  

Origin: Seed was given to the owners of Heirloom Seeds from an elderly Texas seed saver who has been growing this variety all his life. The seed initially came from his father, who grew up in southern Florida, thus the name “Key Lime”.

Little Gem                                                                                    Butterhead  (60 days)

A small lettuce often described as 'a combination of Butterhead and Romaine'. It is crisp, like Romaine, and sweet, like a Butterhead, but the texture and the flavor are still its own. The small, 5 inch heads can be served whole in a gourmet salad. Early maturing, crispy and flavorful, very fast growing. It is the first spring lettuce to grow heads, generally about 6 - 8 inches tall and 8 - 12 inches diameter with little in the way of outer waste.

Origin: Unknown

Lolita                                                                                            Loose leaf  (50 days)

Intense burgundy colored, heavily frilled leaves create a 5 to 7 inch circular mound more compact than its cousins, but also much slower to bolt. After harvesting, leave about an inch remaining, and it will re-grow thru spring into summer. When harvesting, be sure leaves are at least three inches in length and that an entire outer layer is plucked to encourage growth. Several harvests can be plucked from one plant. Once the central stem forms the plant is ready to bolt and the leaves will become excessively bitter.  

Origin: Native to Italy. Grown primarily as a supplemental lettuce to mix with others of varying textures and shapes. A cousin to ‘Lolla Rossa’.

Lollo Rossa                                                                                  Loose leaf  (55 days)

Distinct compact rosette of fan-shaped blood violet leaves with a non-hearting pale green base. The leaves have a crisp, semi-succulent, hardy texture and ruffled tips. Flavor is bold, slightly bitter and nutty. After harvesting, leave about an inch remaining, and it will re-grow thru spring into summer. When harvesting, be sure leaves are at least three inches in length and that an entire outer layer is plucked to encourage growth. Several harvests can be plucked from one plant. Once the central stem forms the plant is ready to bolt and the leaves will become excessively bitter.  

Origin: Native to Italy. Grown primarily as a supplemental lettuce to mix with others of varying textures and shapes. ‘Lollo Rosso’ can also be known as ‘Lolla Rossa’ and ‘Lollo Rossa’ due to gender confusion.

Marvel of Four Seasons                                                              Butterhead  (50 days)(MERVEILLE DES QUATRE SAISONS)

Beautiful red Bibb-type rosettes have deep, rich magenta outside leaves that move toward an apple-green interior. Crispy, excellent flavor. The dark red color develops best in cool spring or autumn weather. "Quatre Saisons" translates literally into four seasons - meaning this hearty lettuce can survive where other lettuces fail!

 

Origin: A French heirloom which dates back to 1885.

Mascara                                                                                       Loose leaf  (55 days)

Deep red tightly ruffled curly and frilled oakleaf-type leaves on loose heads. Retains color fairly well in warmer weather, slower to bolt than others. Harvesting outer leaves promotes regrowth.

   

Origin: Unknown

Oakleaf Lettuce

Oak Leaf                                                                                      Butterhead  (45 days)

As its name suggests, green oak leaf lettuce has the appearance of oak leaves - lobed and loosely serrated. The leaves form a semi-tight rosette, growing upward and outward. Green oak leaf lettuce has a buttery texture and an incredibly mellow, nutty and sweet flavor, which rarely becomes bitter, even in hotter climates. Oak Leaf Lettuce is good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.

Origin: Oak Leaf lettuces were first cultivated in France from what was originally considered a weed found growing wild. There is the very early reference to Oak Leaf Lettuce by Evelyn in Acetaria (1699) that may indicate oak leaf lettuces had arrived in England prior to the 18th Century. Oak Leaf Lettuce was introduced commercially under the name “feuille de chene” in 1771 by the French seed company Vilmorin.

Parris Island Romaine                                                           Romaine / Cos  (70 days)

This popular Romaine averages 8 to 12 inches tall. Dark green leaves that are slightly crinkled, grow erectly and tightly to form an elongated head.  Inner ribs fade to a creamy heart. It’s leaves are crunchy and succulent with a mild flavor. Romaine lettuce is best harvested once the leaves are at least four to six inches in length.

Origin: Romaine lettuce is believed to have originated on the Aegean Island of Cos. This particular old favorite is named for Parris Island off South Carolina. The standard market romaine developed by Clemson University and the USDA in 1952.

Prizehead                                                                                    Loose leaf  (50 days)

Beautiful, crinkled and puckered rosettes with outer leaves which are loose and curled. The inner leaves are lime green with fringed leaf tips of pink-purple to bronze.  Exceedingly crisp, sweet and tender. A perfect salad lettuce for the home gardener. They grow large heavy heads in the spring with production faltering in the summer. It will bolt quickly in the heat.

Origin: US heirloom over 130 years old. Listed in 1873 by D.M. Ferry & Co. and offered by Burpee under the name 'Tomhannock' in 1886.

Red Boston                                                                                 Butterhead  (70 days)

This benchmark butterhead variety provides superior texture and flavor. Red Boston lettuce has broad wavy green leaves tinted with colors of deep burgundy and copper. These leaves encompass more tightly bound and yellow tinted inner leaves. Together they form a rosette of leaves that have especially sweet, nutty and mild flavors paired with textures both buttery and crispy.

Origin: US – over 150 years old. Named for its original cultivator, John Bibb. In 1865 he grew his special Bibb lettuce in Kentucky's alkaline soil. This variety, also called limestone, would become the first American gourmet lettuce.

Red Romaine                                                                         Romaine / Cos  (70 days)

A colorful romaine lettuce with leaves in shades of red, bronze and green. A colorful and tasty addition to salads. Flavor is somewhat tart and spicy. Best color and flavor are achieved when grown in the cooler parts of the growing season. 12" tall and 10-12" wide.



 

Origin: Romaine lettuce is believed to have originated on the Aegean Island of Cos.

Red Sails                                                                                      Loose leaf  (40 days)

This leaf lettuce has it all: heat and bolt resistance, fast growth, pretty foliage, and a great flavor. 10 to 16” rosettes of purplish red outer leaves and light green interior. Puckered wavy leaves have brittle midribs that break easily when washing, handle with care. Slow to become bitter or bolt in summer heat.





 

Origin: 1985 All-America winner.

 

Red Velvet                                                                                  Loose leaf  (55 days)

Crinkled, dark maroon leaves are solid and with a velvety sheen. The backs are green tinged with maroon. Absolutely striking appearance. Tops of leaves are solid maroon, and the backs are green tinged with maroon. Slow to bolt, 6-8" tall, 10-12" wide, with a pleasant flavorful taste.


Origin: This heirloom was reintroduced back into commerce via SSE in 2002.

 

Rouge d` Hiver                                                                    Romaine / Cos  (60 days)

Large, flat, broad leaves are most commonly used as a baby leaf lettuce. Full-sized heads are quite good, too. Crisp, sweet, buttery flavor. The color varies from green to bronze to deep red, with the deeper reds occurring in cooler weather. Hiver means ‘winter’; it does decidedly better in cooler temperatures and is tolerant of light frost. Develops pronounced bitterness in summer heat.

Origin: A French heirloom which dates back to 1885.

Rubin                                                                                           Loose leaf  (55 days)

Semi-dwarf, loose upright heads are typically 10-12 inches tall. The inner leaves and ribs are lime-green, with the outer dark ruby red leaves that are crinkled and puckered with frilled edges. Crisp, sweet and tender.


Origin: Unknown

 

Ruby Red                                                                                     Loose leaf  (55 days)

 

A reliable, high-yielding early variety that produces beautiful compact 6” tall plants, which tend to spread out a little. Beautiful, frilled and crumpled leaves with an intense plum-red color. This variety is the darkest of all the red lettuces. This variety is heat tolerant and is slow to bolt.


Origin: Unknown

 

Salad Bowl (Green)                                                                     Loose leaf  (40 days)

 

Deep-lobed, frilly brilliant green leaves form nice sized rosettes.  Noted for lasting sweetness and tenderness. Extremely cold tolerant, it stays crisp and tasty even after the weather becomes hot. Wonderful mellow flavor. Perfect for the home gardener.

 

Origin: 1952 AAS bred by Ross Thompson of the USDA.

 

Salad Bowl (Red)                                                                        Loose leaf  (50 days)

 

Beautiful, frilly, deep-lobed red bronze oakleaf-type leaves. Nice buttery flavor. Crisp and delicious. Loose, upright plants are 6" tall and 14-16" wide. Grows quite large in cool weather, but prone to bitterness and bolting in heat. A favorite addition of mesclun mixes.


Origin: Introduced commercially in 1955.

 

Speckles                                                                                    Butterhead  (55 days)

 

Compact rosettes of thick and juicy crumpled leaves, light green on the interior washed and speckled in maroon at the edges. This little beauty is mild flavored. Perfect for containers or a back door salad garden. Quick maturing and rarely becomes bitter. Very hardy and slow to bolt.

Origin: This Mennonite heirloom dates back to 1799 in Lancaster, PA. Brought with them when they migrated from Germany and Holland.

 

Sunset                                                                                         Loose leaf  (50 days)

 

This vivid, deep red, beautifully colored red leaf lettuce is noted for an unmatched ability to hold fully mature in the garden for a prolonged period of time. Excellent flavor and nice texture. Grows about 7 inches tall and about 10-12 inches across with frilled edges.


Origin: A 1987 All-America Selection Winner.

 

Tango                                                                                         Loose leaf  (45 days)

Intensely frilled, deep green leaves that resemble endive with a tender, tangy flavor. Crisp clean texture, fast growing forming 6 – 8 inch by 12 inch across rosettes. Extremely cold hardy it bolts early in the summer heat.

 

Origin: Unknown

 
Winter Density                                                                    Romaine / Cos  (55 days)

Best described as having the best qualities of both a butterhead and romaine! The dark green, 8-10 inch heads have slightly puckered paddle-shaped leaves that are sweet, tender and crisp yet with succulent flavor.  Heads starts out looking more like a bibb - then wrapper leaves fold tightly, forming a head like a romaine when mature.

Origin: Also known as ‘Craquerelle du Midi’, a French heirloom from the 19th century.

 

Yugoslavian Red                                                                        Butterhead  (55 days)

Succulent burgundy-tinged leaves form loose heads that can measure up to 12" across. Cutting the head in half exposes solid green interior leaves and an almost white center. Sweet, buttery, mild flavor. Succulent burgundy-tinged leaves form loose heads that can measure up to 12" across. Cutting the head in half exposes solid green interior leaves and an almost white center. Sweet, buttery, mild flavor.

Origin: An heirloom from Europe.