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Oak Leaf Lettuce

Oak Leaf Lettuces (Lactuca sativa) grow well in Gainesville in the winter. They appreciate rich soil, so load up on the manure.

You can harvest leaf lettuce by removing the older leaves occasionally, or alternatively, by cutting everything except a couple young leaves. You can do the latter twice or three times.

Lettuces will be damaged by hard frosts, but can take light ones. Commercial growers put wire arches over their beds and pull frost cloth over the wires when freezing temperatures are expected.

In the spring, your lettuce with “bolt” or grow a flower stalk.  Once it starts to do that, it will be too bitter to eat. I recommend you let at least some of them bolt to collect seeds for next year.

Red Oak Leaf Lettuce
More photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/search?sort=relevance&text=Lactuca%20sativa

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