Over the past few years, we’ve learned how to grow a few things in our central Ohio farm with its crazy weather cycles. Two things in farming are certain, weather is never predictable and farmers must deal with it. We get many questions at the farmers markets on how we grow lettuce during the summer months. Here’s a peek at our methods.
Lettuce is notoriously a cool-weather crop and is typically grown in the spring and fall months in our area. Lettuce will “bolt” or send up a seed stalk during hot weather, which also causes its leaves to turn bitter.
There are 3 main points to growing lettuce in the summer heat.
- choose warm-weather lettuce varieties (see our favorites below)
- grow under shade cloth when the temps get to 70 or above
- keep the lettuce well hydrated with overhead sprinklers
Here are our favorite lettuce varieties for warmer months:
- Buttercrunch- a green bibb leaf with a buttery texture and “green” flavor
- Salad Bowl- light green oakleaf with a fresh, light taste
- Eztron- a green, deeply frilled leaf the gives great texture and crunch
- Red Magma- a red ruffled leaf that does well in heat and cold