September 5, 2012
For many gardeners across the country, the summer garden either lingers, languishes or has been dispatched for the year. But the soil is still warm and Indian summer days offer the prospect of a fall lettuce crop. Even if your first frost usually comes in early November, there’s still time to grow mesclun lettuce.
Mesclun lettuce growing in my garden in mid-November last year.
“In the USA, mesclun has come to mean any mixture of young salad greens that is sown, grown and cut all together. Despite the fact that many mesclun mixtures are now available pre-bagged in supermarkets nationwide, nothing can compare with mesclun harvested from your own garden.” (From Renee’s Garden article, “Growing Delicious Mesclun Mixes.”)
The days to harvest for most mesclun mixes is 35-40 days so you can plant now and enjoy fresh lettuce from the garden into the fall. Lettuce will tolerate a light frost, especially with a row cover and even better with a makeshift cold frame. Mesclun lettuce grows well in containers too.
Cut and Come Again Photo credit: Renee’s Garden
Here are some of the tantalizing mesclun mixes from Renee’s Garden:
Cut and Come Again
Heirloom Cutting Mix
Monet’s Garden Mesclun
Farmer’s Market Blend
Paris Market Mix
Asian Baby Leaf Mix
Wine Country Mesclun
Botanical Interests also has a nice selection.
Wine Country Mesclun Photo credit: Renee’s Garden
Your favorite seed house or local nursery may have mesclun seed mixes worth a try. I’ve also gathered odd lots of lettuce seeds to make my own thrifty mix.
To learn how to grow mesclun lettuce check these resources: