Who can give me some recommendations for varieties of Lettuce to grow outdoors during the Winter in the UK? I have some cloches which could be used for protecting them, but no greenhouse or polytunnel.
Last year I grew some "Winter Density" and some "All Year Round", but I'm looking for something better. "All Year Round" turned out to be a bit of a misnomer, and is really not suitable for cold conditions. Even with cloche protection it perfomed poorly. I want the sort of lettuce that will survive -10C and 6 inches of snow!
At present my Lettuce crop is limited to what fits into two large pots, and a few individual specimens tucked into the odd corner here and there. These will be used before the onset of proper Winter conditions.
These pot-grown ones look nice, but they are growing very slowly, which is not nornally a good thing with lettuce. Rapid growth usually means tender leaves, whereas slow-growing leaves can be tough.
I'm not sure what varieties those ones are, because they came from a mixed pack, but I can recognise the "Green Oak Leaf" and I'm fairly sure that the one on the right is "Marvel of Four Seasons". The one seen in this next (close-up) photo is "Delicato".
This is also "Delicato", but growing in one of the raised beds, in the shadow of some big PSB and Cavolo Nero plants, so it has been starved of light. Look how pale and "delicate" it is. It's almost as if I had deliberately blanched it.
This next one is not a lettuce at all - it's a Radicchio "Firestorm" - but I just wanted to squeeze a photo of it in somewhere because I think it looks nice and more or less fits the theme!
It's still very small, but you can see that the inner leaves are beginning to curl inwards to make a heart. It'll get there in its own good time, and what's more it won't be too bothered when the weather turns chillier.