Tennis Ball Lettuce (Heirloom, 50 Days )
When it comes to heirloom lettuce, the Tennis Ball Lettuce is one of the oldest varieties cultivated in the country. Grown at Monticello during Thomas Jefferson’s time, and one of the most popular at the turn of the century. Historically Tennis Ball Lettuce is used to be pickled in brine and served as a side. The taste and texture of this lettuce was out of this world! Silky smooth, buttery leaves melt in your mouth; one of the best tasting lettuces we have ever tried. It grows a bit bigger than a single serving size head of the similar variety Tom Thumb, cut in half makes a perfect salad for two. Compact heads work well planted close together in tighter spaces.
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 60-70ºF. Soil temperatures above 75 ºF inhibit germination.
Seed Sowing Depth: ¼ inch deep
Starting Indoors: Start 3-4 weeks before planting outside. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot, thinning to one per cell/pot. Provide 60-70ºF soil temperatures. Transplant out, 8-12” apart in rows 12” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: Spring when soil temperature reaches at least 50ºF. Sow 1” apart, thin to 6-12”, depending on the size of lettuce you want, baby to full heads. Keep soil moist during germination. Sow every 2-3 weeks for a longer harvest period. Sow heavy seeded rows every 10-14 days for baby greens using the 1/2 oz. Pinetree Lettuce Mix.
How much does a packet plant: 25-40 foot single row
Harvest: Cut whole heads, full sized or baby at base or snipe off individual leaves.
Tips: Tennis Ball Lettuce needs fertile soil for optimum growth. Work in compost or well rotted manure into your soil before planting. Provide adequate, even moisture for the best growth. Mulching helps retain moisture.