Lettuce Little Gem
Lettuce is incredibly well suited to moist and cool the British climate, making it an essential inclusion in your plot. Little Gem one of the most famous lettuces of all, renowned for its sweet, dense and crunchy hearts.
Great raw in salads, and also wonderful quartered and braised.
It's not a 'cut and come again' lettuce like lollo rosso so it will require repeat sowing every month or so if you want a constant supply.
Time from seed to plate: 12 weeks
Lettuce seed can be sown directly into your soil, but I prefer to sow in gutters. It's a quick way to sow, and it's easy to tease out individual plants for planting out. Fill the gutter with compost, firm and create a shallow groove down the centre about half an inch deep. Sprinkle the seed in sparingly, aiming for one every half inch or so. Firm back the compost and water gently but thoroughly.
Sowing method: Gutters
Transfer your seedlings to your plot when they're 2-3 inches tall. Separate the plants from one another in the gutter using a trowel and plant out individually, leaving 12 inches between plants in both directions. Water in and scatter with some organic slug killer till the plants establish themselves.
Removing any decaying leaves from the bottom of your plants as they grow will also help to deter slugs.
Your lettuce will be ready around 12 weeks from sowing. Take a knife to the root and harvest the entire lettuce in one go, because little gem is a cos lettuce you can't pull off individual leaves as you would lollo rosso.