35 Different Types of Lettuce to Grow This Season

Are you looking for the right variety of lettuce to grow in your garden this season, but can't decide what to plant? There are many different types of lettuce to choose from, depending on your hardiness zone. In this article, gardening expert and organic farmer Jenna Rich looks at the most popular types of lettuce you can test in your vegetable garden this season.

There are so many types of lettuce that sometimes it can be hard to select a variety to grow in your own garden. Depending on how you like to use your lettuce and what climate you live in, there are lots of options to choose from.

Many popular lettuce varieties can actually be grown across the season in both cool and warm weather but I have broken down some of my favorites below by the time to sow and harvest with notes in each of them if they can be grown in more than one part of the season. Disease resistance codes are also listed for quick reference.

The key to lettuce is really experimentation. We love selecting a few new lettuce varieties each season and just giving them a shot. It’s fun to find new favorites every year!


About Growing Lettuce

Lettuce is one of the most popular vegetables to grow in the garden. It has so many uses, and with multiple varieties to choose from, the possibilities are endless! All varieties have the same or similar growing requirements. Here are some of the basics to get you started!

Starting Seeds

Close-up of young seedlings in black plastic seed trays. The seedlings have small oval bright green leaves with slightly wavy edges.
It is recommended to germinate lettuce seeds at a temperature of 60-65 °F.

Lettuce is generally a cool weather crop that grows best at 60-65°F. It should be expected to germinate best at temperatures below 70°F.

For the best chance of success, a low-grade heat mat is recommended when germinating lettuce seeds in a greenhouse or a mild home to help keep temperatures consistent and agreeable. We use seedling trays that have 128-cell plugs and find they give us the best success.

Once about 60% of the seeds sown have germinated, you should provide light, either natural or high-quality artificial light. Artificial lights can be raised up as plants grow. Provide good airflow to strengthen stems and prepare them for life outdoors.

Pelleted vs. Non-pelleted Seeds

Two round displays of lettuce seeds. The one on the right, the seeds are egg-shaped and coated in a white clay-like coating. These seeds are in a round, clear dish. The seeds on the right are oblong, slightly pointed, and light brown to cream-colored with slight texture. Both piles are against a black background.
The main difference between pelleted and non-pelleted seeds is their appearance.

You might have noticed that many lettuce seeds are available in pelleted and non-pelleted options. There are a few key differences.  


Pelleted seeds are covered in a white clay coating, causing them to be round or slightly egg-shaped.

Raw seeds are the shape they are when they drop from the mother plant. The disadvantage of raw seeds is that they may be extremely tiny making them hard to control when seeding, hard to see, and easy to lose if dropped.


If you are using a mechanical seeder like the Earthway or the Jang, pelleted seeds will give you a more consistent direct sow and will ultimately save you time on thinning your crops out. Pelleted seeds are also less likely to jam up your seeder due to inconsistent shape and size.

Pelleted seeds are also much easier to see, handle and sow when sowing them in trays. The coating color offers a nice contrast to the dark soil so you can see if you have mistakenly dropped more than one per cell.

If you are looking for a tighter direct sown row of a particular crop, raw (non-pelleted) may be the way to go. Non-pelleted seeds work just fine if you are seeding a fairly small area.


Due to the consistency of the shape and size of pelleted seeds, some experts believe germination rates can be up to 50% higher than non-pelleted seeds.


The cost of pelleted seeds is higher but the way I look at it, they are an investment in your garden or farm. It is very likely that you will see a high ROI (return on investment) less time sowing seeds, higher germination rates, and spending less time thinning rows of crops.

The main disadvantage to pelleted seeds is that they typically only last one season. For this reason, it is important to guesstimate how many seeds you will actually go through so as to not have an excessive amount leftover and likely going to be wasted. Pelleted seeds should be used within 12 months of purchase.


Close-up of female hands transplanting a leafy vegetable seedling into the soil in a sunny garden. The seedling has beautiful oval, oblong bright green leaves with wavy edges.
Transplant lettuce seedlings into the ground when the soil has warmed to at least 60°.

While you can certainly try direct seeding your lettuce seeds, it is best to start them indoors and transplant them. Transplanting should be done once the soil outside has warmed to at least 60°F and either early or late in the day to avoid too much sun which could cause stress. The soil should be well-drained, and you should look ahead to ensure there is no immediate threat of frost.

Note that while many varieties can handle a light frost, new transplants should be given extra care and stress should be avoided. If needed, you can hoop the bed and cover the lettuce transplants with a row cover for added warmth.

Days to Maturity

Green young leaves close-up on a summer day in a rural garden. The plant has beautiful rosettes of oval, bright green, wavy leaves.
Lettuce ripens within 5-6 weeks.

In general, “days to maturity” indicates how many days until the lettuce is ready during cooler seasons. If you live in a particularly warm climate or are growing lettuce in the summer when days and nights are warm, you can expect your lettuce to mature 10-14 days earlier.

Add more time if you plan to direct seed as germination takes longer in cool soil.


Close-up of a male hand picking green leaves from a hydroponic greenhouse. The plant has large leaves of bright green color with very frilly edges.
Lettuce should be harvested in the early morning or in the late evening.

For one-cut lettuce heads, cut them using a sharp harvest knife at the base. Keep any damaged outer layers on until they are ready to sell or washed and consumed so they can protect the healthiest-looking leaves. 

If you are growing cut-and-come-again varieties, be sure to leave at least one inch above the crown intact so that it can grow back successfully.

No matter what type of lettuce you are harvesting, it should be done in the early morning or later in the evening, when the sun is not at its peak. If you are harvesting during winter months, lettuce should not be harvested until any sign of frost has melted away and the lettuce is perked back up.


Close-up of fresh leafy vegetable plant in an empty refrigerator. The leaves are large, bright green and dark green with wavy and frilly edges.
For long-term storage, lettuce should be refrigerated.

The key thing to remember is that cooling lettuce immediately, whether heads or mix, is crucial to a long shelf-life. If you will be washing your lettuce before storage, do that right away, dry it well, and then store it in an airtight container at 35-40°F. Plastic bins or bags work best, but ensure there is no standing water at the bottom of the container you choose.

If storing in bulk, stack them in layers with the cut ends facing away. Cover with a damp newspaper or a layer of plastic before storing to prolong freshness.

Disease Resistance Codes

You may receive a packet of seeds with random letters, and sometimes numbers, on it. These letters have significant meanings. They represent the abbreviation of the names of diseases that a particular plant has a resistance to.

Resistance Coding is based on Pathogen Codes of the International Seed Federation. Here are common Disease Resistance Codes you will find with lettuce:

  • DM: Downy Mildew (Water Mold)
  • LMV: Lettuce Mosaic Virus (Virus)
  • Nr: Lettuce Leaf Aphid (Insect)
  • Pb: Lettuce Root Aphid (Insect)
  • Rs: Corky Root (Bacterium)
  • TBSV: Tomato Bushy Stunt Virus (Lettuce Dieback Complex [Lettuce])

Early Season Varieties

These varieties have been bred for early spring sowing when the weather is still a bit cooler. They tend to be quick to mature, allowing you to harvest them late spring into early summer.

Chart depicting when to sow and harvest early season lettuce varieties. It shows that these plants should be sown in early spring and harvested in late spring through mid-summer.


Top view, close-up of many Nancy Lettuce growing in the garden. The plant forms beautiful rounded rosettes of slightly twisted bright green leaves. The leaves are covered with water drops.
Nancy lettuce has delicious, crisp, buttery bright green leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Green Boston-type butterhead
  • Appearance: Medium green with a tightly packed round head
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: LMV

You’ll have family members requesting Nancy by name! We added Nancy to our lineup in 2020 and we don’t anticipate letting her go anytime soon. She’s a lovely soft, yet crispy butterhead with leaves perfect for lettuce wraps or a sandwich.

Heads hold together nicely and curl in just a bit to tell you they are ready for harvesting. Nancy is also slow to bottom rot which is ideal for rainy stretches.


Close-up of Lettuce 'Vulcan' growing in the garden. The plant has a rosette of beautiful curly purplish-red leaves with a green base.
Lettuce ‘Vulcan’ has beautifully textured leaves with a burgundy red tinge on curly margins.
  • Lettuce type: Red leaf
  • Appearance: Beautiful frilly purple with a green base
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: N/A

Vulcan’s frilly leaves offer a great texture in a salad. They hold up well on sandwiches as well. The pretty colors also make it aesthetically appealing!

It keeps well in the field, so no worries if you can’t get out there right away. It’s very slow to tip-burn as well. You can harvest these large leaves as needed or take the whole head at one time.

Red Cross

Close-up of 'Red Cross' lettuce in the garden. The plant has a rosette of ruffled round leaves, with a wrinkled structure, green at the base and purple-red at the edges.
Red Cross is a heat and disease-resistant lettuce variety.
  • Lettuce type: Red butterhead
  • Appearance: Lovely light green with ruffled red tips
  • Days to maturity: 48
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

This slightly ruffled, butterhead is a garden stunner for sure. Red Cross became a mainstay at our farm in 2021 when we learned just how heat tolerant it was in the field!

Take caution if you are bringing this to a farmers’ market or setting out at a farm stand though because it is a little less tolerant of heat once it has been harvested.

It has high resistance to downy mildew and can be grown in all seasons with the right care. However, it is commonly harvested in late spring to mid-summer.


Close-up of female hands displaying 'Tropicana' lettuce leaves in a greenhouse. Lettuce has beautiful wide rosettes of large rounded bright green leaves, with very wavy edges.
This large variety has giant and leaves with wavy edges.
  • Lettuce type: Green leaf
  • Appearance: Bright green, huge heads, tips heavily curled
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: Rs

Tropicana is another favorite of mine at the farm due to its heavy leaves and giant size. This variety holds up very well after harvest and has a long shelf life if stored properly.

Tropicana presents well on a sandwich board or in a salad mix. It is considered one of the best bolt-tolerant and heat-resistant varieties.


Top view, close-up of 'Panisse' lettuce growing in the garden. The plant has beautiful bright green twisty leaves that form a dense rounded head.
Panisse has interesting twisted leaves forming a dense rosette.
  • Lettuce type: Green oakleaf
  • Appearance: Light lime green featuring large leaves and lightly frilled texture
  • Days to maturity: 48
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, LMV

This Johnny’s Selected Seeds exclusive features fun, twisty leaves that make up a very full head. The color of Panisse makes it very interesting on a farmers’ market table.

You can expect soft, velvety tops with crunchy bottoms. These do best when planted densely in rows. Panisse is very effective at shading out new weeds.

Mid-Season Varieties

These varieties are perfect for sowing in late spring and early summer when temperatures begin to warm up. They are heat tolerant, are not susceptible to tip burn, and some will even perform well in drought conditions.

Since people across all regions love eating lettuce, cultivars have been bred to tolerate higher temperatures and more sun while continuing to be high-producing and without being damaged.

Chart depicting when to sow and harvest mid-season lettuce varieties. It shows that these plants should be sown in late spring through mid-summer and harvested in mid-summer to late summer.

Coastal Star

Top view, closeup of "Coastal Star" lettuce with water drops in the garden. A large rosette of large oval rich green leaves with a wrinkled structure.
Coastal Star is a delicious variety with large, juicy leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine
  • Appearance: Dark green, large
  • Days to maturity: 57
  • Disease resistance codes: Rs

The best thing about Coastal Star, besides its beauty, is its size. If a few outer leaves are damaged from pests or the sun, just peel them off and you still have a big, gorgeous romaine head!

It has a crisp and juicy flavor. This makes perfect for sandwiches or a homegrown Caesar salad. Versatile and delicious in any culinary application!

Bonus: Coastal Star can be grown hydroponically.

Monte Carlo

Top view, close-up of a growing 'Monte Carlo' lettuce with water drops on the leaves. The plant has large oval dark green leaves tightly grouped into a beautiful rosette.
This variety is known for its beauty and ease of cultivation.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine
  • Appearance: Dark green, small, compact head, savoyed leaves
  • Days to maturity: 46
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

Monte Carlo is known for its good looks and ease of growing. It’s a great option for fast maturity and sweet flavor.

This has a very classic romaine appearance, easily recognized by customers at a farmers’ market. Monte Carlo has a high resistance to several downy mildew races, making it an easy choice!


Top view, close-up of 'Sparx' lettuce growing in the garden. The plant has large, broad, oval leaves of pale green color with wavy edges, growing vertically.
Sparx is an excellent lettuce variety that, although it takes longer to ripen, grows perfectly upright.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine hearts
  • Appearance: Classic medium green, dense romaine with long leaves
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

This variety is our go-to for romaine hearts. Sparx takes a little longer to mature than some other lettuces, but it’s worth it!

There are many reasons to love Sparx! It’s a consistently good producer, it grows perfectly upright, and you will love it. This variety can also be grown in spring, summer, and fall.


Close-up of a bed with growing 'Adriana' lettuce. The lettuce has a beautiful rounded rosette of large, slightly ruffled, pale green leaves.
If you are looking for lettuce with creamy, soft, ruffled leaves with good flavor, Adriana is an excellent option.
  • Lettuce type: Green butterhead
  • Appearance: Dark green
  • Days to maturity: 48
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, LMV

Adriana has a creamy and soft texture with good flavor. Her leaves are a bit more ruffled than some other butterheads making it very attractive. This lettuce cultivar was bred to have a wide disease-resistance package and is slow to bolt.

Adriana can tolerate a light frost in the spring as well as high heat in the summer. Just be sure you have the ability to provide some shade if needed when growing in extremely sunny regions.


Close-up of 'Thurinus' lettuce growing in a sunny garden. The plant has beautiful vertical leaves, oval, oblong in shape, wine-red in color with a slightly green base.
Thurinus is a beautiful non-heading variety with beautiful wine-colored leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Red romaine
  • Appearance: Dark red, almost wine-colored, with light green stems
  • Days to maturity: 56
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, Pb, LMV

This romaine is sure to be a show-stopper at a farmers’ market or farm stand. The contrast between the stem and leaves is sure to catch people’s eyes.

Thurinus performs well across all seasons and although it does not form a head, it’s still worth growing for the color alone. If you are looking for something a little different with a great disease-resistance package, give Thurinus a shot.


Top view, close-up of 'Starfighter' lettuce growing in the garden. The plant has beautiful oval leaves, bright green in color with curly, wavy edges.
Starfighter is a heat-tolerant variety with attractive green leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Green leaf
  • Appearance: Medium in both size and shade of green
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, Pb

This disease-resistant uniform green leaf is known for its heat tolerance. Starfighter is crisp and juicy, holding up very well after harvest.

Starfighter is perfect for a farmers’ market due to its longevity and attractiveness. I highly suggest Starfighter if you are looking for a green leaf to grow this season.


Top view, close-up of 'Cherokee' lettuce in the garden. The plant has a beautiful wide rosette of large, rounded, glossy, rich red-purple leaves with a green base and slightly corrugated edges.
If you are looking for lettuce that produces crunchy leaves that last a long time after harvest, Cherokee is a great option!
  • Lettuce type: Summer crisp Batavia
  • Appearance: Very dark red, slightly frilled edges with bright green at the base
  • Days to maturity: 48
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

Cherokee can be grown as a full head or baby lettuce added to a mix. The thick, crisp leaves hold up very well after harvest and do not bruise easily.

This summer crisp red variety remains sweet even in peak summer and it rarely becomes bitter, which is hard to find in lettuce. Give this beauty a shot and you won’t be disappointed.


Close-up of 'Azirka' lettuce growing in a sunny garden. The plant has beautiful, dense, dark purple, frilly and spiky leaves that form dense heads.
This sweet red lettuce is not bitter at all, but rather quite sweet.
  • Lettuce type: Red Crunchleaf           
  • Appearance: Dense, dark purple, frilly and spiky, full head
  • Days to maturity: 60
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, TBSV, LMV

This sweet, juicy red lettuce variety grows impressively well in the summer. Azirka is slow to bolt and does not turn bitter.

Try snagging the outer leaves for an early-season side salad while you’re waiting for Azirka to mature. If you can stand to wait longer than the usual head lettuce grow time, Azirka might be worth it!

Late Season Varieties

These varieties can be planted in late summer when it is still hot, about 60 days before the last frost. They will be ready to harvest in the fall once temperatures cool down.

Keep in mind that even heat-tolerant varieties have their limits and care should be taken when the sun is exceptionally hot. Some growers put a hold on any transplanting during the hottest part of the summer and peak sun time.

Chart depicting when to sow and harvest late season lettuce varieties. It shows that these plants should be sown in mid-summer to late summer and harvested in the fall.

New Red Fire

Close-up of 'New Red Fire' lettuce growing in a sunny garden. The plant forms beautiful loose heads of corrugated crisp green leaves with purple tips.
New Red Fire produces an excellent loose head with crispy and sweet leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Red leaf
  • Appearance: Frilly, textured. Purple on tips with light green toward the base, very similar to Vulcan
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: N/A

This is one of my all-time favorite lettuce varieties to grow! It does well all year long, but I am adding it here as a late season because this past fall, we had a bed of this variety forgotten under row cover.

When we were cleaning up before winter, we realized it was still alive and absolutely thriving! There was no frost damage, the heads were enormous, crispy, and beautiful. New Red Fire is perfect for salads, adds interest to a sandwich, and holds up well for lettuce wraps.

Ruby Sky

Close-up of a growing 'Ruby Sky' lettuce in a raised garden bed. The plant has beautiful dense rosettes of corrugated green leaves with reddish-purple edges.
There are strong, ruffled dark red leaves tinged with green at the base of Ruby Sky lettuce.
  • Lettuce type: Red leaf
  • Appearance: Frilly, textured. More red than purple than New Red Fire on tips with light green toward the base
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, LMV

Ruby Sky is very comparable to Vulcan in terms of flavor and appearance. It is also similarly tolerant of bottom rot. However, Ruby Sky grows just a little slower but is also slower to bolt in the heat.

This is a great option for a farmers’ market as it holds up very well due to its sturdy leaves. It also has interesting color and texture.

Bonus: Ruby Sky is a reliable all-season lettuce.


Top view, close-up of 'Skyphos' lettuce growing in a sunny garden. The plant forms grouped large frilled leaves into dense wide rosettes. The leaves are purple-red with a green base.
This lettuce is tolerant of cool nights and drought, producing well-formed heads of crisp purple leaves with a green base.
  • Lettuce type: Red butterhead
  • Appearance: Purpleurple with delicate frills and light green center head
  • Days to maturity: 47
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, LMV

Skyphos is one of the most adaptable lettuce heads you can grow. I first witnessed its heat tolerance in North Carolina where it impressed me overall. Now I grow it in New Hampshire and it is equally tolerant of cool nights, lots of rain, as well as drought conditions.

This lettuce is perfect for lettuce wraps due to the size and shape of the leaves. It’s interesting to look at, has great flavor, and holds up well. So, if you’re looking for a consistently performing red butterhead, look no further.


Close-up of a growing lettuce 'Salvius' on beds in a vegetable garden. Large, oval, shiny, dark green leaves with a heavy blister form a beautiful central rosette.
Salvius produces delightful dark green leaves with a heavy blister that form a beautiful central rosette.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine
  • Appearance: Bright dark green with classic open-habit romaine    
  • Days to maturity: 58
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, Rs

This open-habit growing romaine makes it perfect for full-size heads. The texture is crisp and the flavor is great. Ideally, Salvius has a little more space to grow than others so it has the ability to spread out.

Bolt tolerant and resistant to downy mildew, aphids, and corky root, Salvius also has a high leaf count. It does well in the field or garden, as well as in a greenhouse.

Pro Tip: Harvest every other lettuce head upon first harvest so others have a chance to continue to grow and become larger.

Green Forest

Top view, close-up of 'Green Forest' lettuce leaves covered with water drops. The leaves are large, oval, smooth-ribbed, dark green in color, slightly wrinkled.
Green Forest is a romaine that produces beautiful open leaves with smooth ribs.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine
  • Appearance: Dark green, classic romaine
  • Days to maturity: 56
  • Disease resistance codes: Rs

Very slow to bolt, Green Forest performs well outdoors as well as under a cover. It is also resistant to tip burn, which can be common among romaine varieties.

Green Forest is an open-hearted romaine, which means its leaves splay out instead of remaining tight to the core like a traditional romaine. Its smooth ribbing allows for little bruising during packing and displaying. They need plenty of airflow to accommodate the widespread leaves, so give them extra space for growing.


Close-up of a large mulched bed with 'Mirlo' lettuce growing. Heads of lettuce are beautiful, rounded, open, consist of large, rounded, glossy, bright green leaves.
Mirlo produces beautiful light green heads with glossy leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Green butterhead (Boston type)
  • Appearance: Large bright green leaves
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, TBSV, LMV

This bright, light green butterhead is one of the most gorgeous lettuce heads I’ve ever seen in person. It curls in tightly but continues to grow, which results in a long harvest window.

Although Mirlo looks very delicate, the leaves hold up well when harvesting, washing, and processing, while also offering a little crunch when eaten. Mirlo performs well in all seasons.

Baby Lettuce Varieties

These varieties are bred specifically to do well at any stage of growth. They grow uniformly and are a bit thicker, so they hold up well at younger stages. Their thickness also helps them not to stick together after harvesting, which can be a pain when washing and drying.

Baby lettuce can be directly and densely sown and harvested multiple times. These are perfect if you and your family eat lots of salads but don’t have a ton of space in your garden to devote to full-head lettuce.

The varieties listed below range in growth speed but are typically ready within 28-40 days. They vary in type and color.

Red Tip

Top view, small lettuce 'Red Tip' on a white background. Lettuce has beautiful medium leaves with a narrow base and wide, curly, loose tops. The leaves are reddish-purple in color with deep lobes.
This colorful variety produces beautiful loose curly purple-hued leaves with deep lobes.
  • Lettuce type: Red oakleaf
  • Appearance: Very attractive purple hue with deep lobes
  • Days to maturity: 34
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

Red Tip is a high-performing, baby-leaf lettuce. Its upright growth pattern makes it a breeze to harvest. It has a sweet flavor and deep color that looks beautiful in the garden and on the table.

This particular lettuce is downy mildew resistant. This, along with how attractive it is, makes Red Tip an easy pick.


Close-up of growing 'Clearwater' lettuce in pots in a greenhouse. The plant is small and has oval, medium green, lobed leaves with wavy edges.
Clearwater produces tasty medium-green leaves with deep lobes.
  • Lettuce type: Green oakleaf
  • Appearance: Dark green, heavy texture
  • Days to maturity: 31
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, LMV

This organic, quick-to-mature lettuce holds up great in a mix due to its heavy nature. It has a great sweet flavor for baby lettuce and grows upright, similar to Red Tip. The baby leaves are bright green that darken as they mature.

Clearwater has a great disease-resistance package. It is sure to be approved by any gardener and chef who uses it in the kitchen!


Close-up of Pensacola lettuce in the garden. The plant forms a small loose rosette of slightly wrinkled, pale green leaves.
These long, crisp leaves clustered into loose heads belong to Pensacola lettuce.
  • Lettuce type: Green romaine
  • Appearance: Pale green, slightly folded leaves, classic romaine shape
  • Days to maturity: 31
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, TBSV, LMV

Pensacola is quick to mature, holds up well in the field, and will offer a light crispness to any lettuce mix. It has a mildly sweet flavor that pairs well with many other varieties.

The slight cupping of the leaves helps moisture roll right down, keeping them fresher for longer in the field and post-harvest. This variety has excellent disease resistance.

Pro Tip: Try mixing with edible flower petals for an easy and beautiful summer salad.

All-Around Varieties

There are several tried and true varieties that tend to perform consistently well under lots of different conditions. You can experiment with one or two of these per season to see what works best in your region. These can be sown and/or harvested from early spring through the fall months.


Close-up of 'Muir' lettuce growing in the same bed with dill. Lettuce has large, oval, pale green leaves with crinkled edges.
This slow-growing variety produces light green frilly leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Summer crisp (Batavia)
  • Appearance: Compact, pale green, very frilly
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, TBSV, LMV

Muir is such a gorgeous lettuce. Its size will impress you and it’s sure to catch the eyes of farmers’ market and farm stand shoppers. The super frilly edges and bright green color also look good on the table in a salad.

In Johnny’s Selected Seeds trials, Muir continues to impress with its heat tolerance and slowness to bolt. They are perfect for baby or full-size heads. Flavor and quality are not compromised either way!


Close-up of growing 'Newham' lettuce in a sunny garden. The plant has beautiful broad, rounded, smooth pale green leaves grouped in a large rosette.
Newham is a smooth-leaved lettuce that pairs well with summer dishes.
  • Lettuce type: Mini gem
  • Appearance: Medium green, rose-shaped, compact head
  • Days to maturity: 52
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr, Pb, LMV, Rs

This little gem would be perfect for a salad-for-one or added to a lettuce mix. Its leaves are soft yet hold up well. The flavor is somewhat sweet.

This lettuce is best when paired with other gem-type lettuces and sold as a trio. It looks great on a farmers’ market table. Newham is a great performer across all seasons.


Close-up of many 'Breen' lettuce plants growing in a greenhouse. The plant has a beautiful vertical rosette of elongated, oval purple leaves with a green base.
Breen is a miniature, compact lettuce variety with purple-red oblong leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Mini red romaine
  • Appearance: Bronze, red with light green at the base
  • Days to maturity: 45
  • Disease resistance codes: DM

This petite, unique-looking romaine pairs nicely with Newham. Could also be harvested as individual leaves or in a cut-and-come-again fashion.

Since the plants stay very small and compact, try sneaking them in alongside your tomato plants. They’ll receive shade from the tomatoes and not take compete much for nutrients since they won’t be in the ground nearly as long.

Bonus: This variety has high powdery mildew resistance.


Close-up of 'Salanova' lettuce plant in a greenhouse. The plant forms a lush, large rosette of open, oval, slightly wavy, pale green leaves.
Salanova is one of the best varieties with beautiful open leaves and a delicate, creamy taste.
  • Lettuce type: Baby head lettuce mix, cut-and-come-again
  • Appearance: Assorted colors and types
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Varied

This Johnny’s Selected Seeds exclusive is the best lettuce mix on the market. These heads can be spaced out and grown as full-head lettuce or spaced more tightly to be harvested smaller as a mix.

The leaves hold up exceptionally well after harvest, lasting up to two weeks if stored properly. They make a delightful salad with a unique variety of frilly and soft, purple and green. The only downfall of these seeds is the cost, but in my opinion, they’re worth it!

Red Butter

Close-up of a growing 'Red Butter' lettuce in a sunny garden. The plant produces a large, lush rose-shaped rosette of glossy, crisp, rounded dark purple leaves with a greenish base.
This variety of lettuce tolerates spring temperature changes well and has soft dark purple leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Red butterhead, cut-and-come-again
  • Appearance: Dark purple with green base, rose-shaped
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, DM

This gorgeous multi-colored lettuce makes quite an impression in a lettuce mix. It features soft leaves that hold up great in a salad. Red Butter is the gold standard of baby head lettuce!

Since Salnova® seeds are always pelleted and the germination rates are always nearly 99%. They grow at a consistent rate and hold up well to changing temperatures in the spring.

Green Butter

Top view, close-up of 'Green Butter' salad in the garden. The plant has a beautiful rose-shaped rosette with large, medium green, soft leaves.
If you are looking for a delightful, slow-growing, rose-shaped lettuce that has soft, buttery leaves, Green Butter is perfect.
  • Lettuce type: Green butterhead, cut-and-come-again
  • Appearance: Medium bright green, rose-shaped with closed-head nature
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, DM

Green Butter lettuce is a beautiful rose-shaped butter lettuce featuring soft, almost buttery leaves. Similarly to Red Butter, it makes a lovely mini lettuce head when grown to full size, but also makes a great addition to a mix.

It performs very well both in the field and in protected growing areas such as greenhouses. Green Butter is part of our farm’s signature lettuce mix and it never disappoints. This lettuce is slow to bolt and performs well all season long.

Red Gem 

Close-up of a head of 'Red Gem' lettuce lying on the table. Lettuce has densely clustered large leaves, bright green in color with dark purple and slightly frilly edges.
Delicious Red Gem lettuce produces deep purple leaves that are slightly frilly.
  • Lettuce type: Little gem-type, cut-and-come-again
  • Appearance: Deep purple with green innards, a little textured
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Disease resistance codes: DM, Nr

This Johnny’s Selected Seeds exclusive is brand new to their 2023 Salanova® lineup. It is a deeper magenta than purple and the slightly frilly leaves feature a bright green base.

Red Gem is said to hold up even better than Red Butter and is a bit quicker to mature. The heads of Red Gem tend to stay open versus the closed nature of Red Butter.

This lettuce would make a great addition to the Salanova® Premier or Foundation Collection or used in place of your favorite mini head if you are looking for a seed backup.

Red Tango

Top view, close-up of many 'Red Tango' lettuce plants in the garden. The plant has small loose rosettes of beautiful curly leaves with dark purple tips and a green base.
Red Tango is a cold hardy lettuce variety with vertical, frilled leaves.
  • Lettuce type: Red, loose-leaf lettuce head
  • Appearance: Dark purple, curly leaves, similar look to Endive
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Pb, Nr, DM

A new option is Red Tango, a red spiky lettuce that has improved flavor and slower bolt tendencies than some other red options.

Its uniform upright and full growth pattern will make mechanical harvesting very quick and effective and is also great for hand harvesting.

If you are growing in a northern region, you might want to give this new lettuce a shot as it has been performing well in unheated high tunnel winter trials!

Green Sweet Crisp

Close-up of a 'Green Sweet Crisp' lettuce plant in a mulched bed in the garden. The plant forms a loose rosette of large bright green leaves with very frilly tips.
Beautiful and crispy Green Sweet Crisp has large green leaves with very frilly tips.
  • Lettuce type: Salanova® Exclusive
  • Appearance: Bright medium green, very frilly tips, big, full head
  • Days to maturity: 50
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, LMV, DM

Green Sweet Crisp is hands down, one of my favorite lettuce mix varieties. I’m always amazed at how big it can grow in such a short time, even after multiple cuts.

Its heavy leaves add bulk and interest to a lettuce mix. They hold up very well when being harvested, washed, packed, and tossed in a salad.

Everyone enjoys the crunch and sweetness Green Sweet Crisp, literally, brings to the table.

Red Sweet Crisp

Close-up of 'Red Sweet Crisp' lettuce plant growing in the garden. Lettuce forms a head with beautiful loose light purple leaves with a green base, and very frilly tips.
The bicolored leaves of Red Sweet Crisp are crispy.
  • Lettuce type: Salanova® Exclusive
  • Appearance: Light purple with green base, very frilly tips, full head with soft, crispy leaves
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, DM

Red Sweet Crisp adds lots of interest to a bagged lettuce mix. Its two-toned leaves are spiky and don’t bruise easily during processing.

Similar to its counterpart, Green Sweet Crisp, Red Sweet Crisp adds fullness to a salad and has a crisp similar to iceberg lettuce. Just like most of the other Salanova® lettuces, this one can keep fresh in the refrigerator for up to two weeks!

Green Batavia

Close-up of 'Green Batavia' lettuce on a bed in a sunny garden. The plant forms a beautiful rounded rosette of frilly, bright green leaves with an interesting texture.
This flavorful variety produces frilly bright green leaves with an interesting texture.
  • Lettuce type: Green Batavia type
  • Appearance: Bright medium green with full, spread-out heads with wavy leaves
  • Days to maturity: 55
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, LMV, DM

Green Batavia has great flavor and an interesting texture. We added it to our mix two seasons ago and haven’t looked back. It’s consistently a great performer, even in drought conditions, and grows back well after being cut.

This lettuce tends to work well when harvested as a full head as it fills out really well and keeps its structure when harvested at the core. We have not experienced Green Batavia getting tip burn or bolting, even during droughts.

Red Incised

Close-up of 'Red Incised' lettuce leaves. The leaves are large, double, deeply incised, with strongly frilly tips, purple-red with a green base.
Red Incised has deeply incised red leaves with heavily frilly margins.
  • Lettuce type: Salanova® Exclusive
  • Appearance: Deep purple with green base with very frilly, folded leaves
  • Days to maturity: 53
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, LMV, DM

One of my favorite varieties for a lettuce mix, this one holds up extremely well, both in the field if you can’t get to it right away, and during the harvest, wash, and packing process.

The leaves of Red Incised have a fold and texture that is great for holding salad dressing. I just love the colors of this lettuce so much, it’s definitely a mainstay at our farm!

Green Incised

Top view, close-up of 'Green Incised' lettuce in a sunny garden. The plant is a rounded head of beautiful, bright green, large leaves with frilly edges.
Green Incised is a hardy lettuce variety producing fine textured green leaves with frilly edges.
  • Lettuce type: Salanova® Exclusive
  • Appearance: Medium-dark green, very heavily frilled full heads
  • Days to maturity: 53
  • Disease resistance codes: Nr, LMV, DM

This lettuce is perfect when you need to run out to the garden and grab a few leaves for a BLT or tuna salad sandwich. The leaves seem to be neverending!

Green Incised continues to impress us with its quick regrowth and lovely texture. If you find yourself out of the Green Batavia or want to try something new for a crunchy, sweet salad, give the Green Incised a shot.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to protect lettuce on particularly sunny days?

Water regularly and consistently. Using drip tape, soaker hoses, or a high-quality overhead sprinkler, water lettuce at least one inch per week, and even more in extreme heat as needed.  Your goal is to keep your crop under the least amount of stress possible.

Try shade cloth. Most greenhouse supply and garden shops sell these in all different materials, colors, and widths so you can find what works best for you. There are large cloths made to cover entire greenhouses and smaller strips to simply cover one bed at a time as needed.

Do not transplant during peak sun hours. When temperatures are consistently high and the sun is hot, only transplant lettuce in the early morning or evening when it has cooled off a little. You can also wait a week or so until it is safer for your transplants. They may be better off going in the ground a little later than expected than introducing them to stressful conditions on time.

What is the best way to keep lettuce fresh after harvesting?

The most important thing to do after harvesting lettuce (or any crop for that matter) is to wash it and get it out of the sun into a cooler as soon as possible. This is especially important on very hot or windy days.

For full-head lettuce, you should dunk it in fresh, cold water and then shake it dry. Pack well in a lined box or plastic container and cover it before putting it into your cooler. If you are on a smaller scale and looking to cool your lettuce in the refrigerator, add it to an airtight container.

For lettuce mix, be sure to spin dry before storing. Excess moisture can lead to early spoilage.

Should I start my lettuce seeds indoors?

for best results, yes, lettuce should be started indoors. If you do not have access to a greenhouse, lettuce can be started in a flat, atop a simple heat mat, or in a warm spot in your home. Lettuces, although some are cold hardy, will still germinate best when temperatures are above 28 degrees.

Final Thoughts

Lettuce is certainly a crop worth exploring new varieties each season. I always suggest keeping your favorites on hand but selecting one or two new ones to try.

With the number of new cultivars that come out each year bred to perform even better with high resistance to disease, what do you have to lose?

I hope there is something on this list that piqued your interest and will be helpful to you in your upcoming growing season!

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