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Kitchen Gardening

Have You Heard of Mini Head Lettuces?

These little gems taste better and mature faster than full-sized heads

Fine Gardening – Issue 174

There’s a lot to love about mini head lettuces, which are tender young greens harvested when they are about 6 inches tall and wide. Gardeners and farmers appreciate that this crop finishes quickly and takes up little row space. Chefs and home cooks are inspired by the little lettuces’ sweet flavor and tender texture. With mini heads, it’s easy to harvest just what you needa single lettuce split in half will yield one or two salads, leaving no leftovers to decay in the crisper.

Over the past few years, we’ve been growing mini head lettuces at the High Mowing Organic Seeds trial fields in Wolcott, Vermont. Here are our tips for growing a perfect crop.

Choose lettuce varieties that are compact, upright, and fast growing

Unlike most traditional head lettuces, which have an open, shaggy growth habit, a good mini head holds its outer leaves up off…

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