Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Forellenshcluss Lettuce

Forellenshcluss is one of my favorite lettuce varieties. It is a spotted leaf lettuce that is if I remember correctly from Australia and often called Trout Lettuce. It tastes pretty good, like real lettuce, not the stuff that you find at the grocery store. Some people don't like the flavor of real lettuce and prefer the aged bland lettuce from the grocery store, but if you like your vegetables to have flavor give this one a try. It grows readily from seed and will give you plenty of replacement seeds by the end of the season if you let the center flower.

Remember when picking lettuce leaves to break off the leaves not pull up the plant. Once the center starts to spike up and flower stop picking the lettuce because it will start to become bitter. The plants should all flower roughly at the same time within a few weeks of each other. I usually pull out the first couple plants that bloom much earlier than the rest and don't save seeds from those. If you continuously save seed from the early blooming plants, then it will cut into the length of your harvest. It is wise to save seeds from those plants that flower later in the season but soon enough that you'll get seed well before the first frost. The flowers are generally self pollinating and when the flowers die and dry out on the plants you can rub the seeds out of them and blow away the chaff. Store them in a bead bag (mini ziplock bag) that can be found at most craft stores or make some paper seed packets of your own.

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