Tom Thumb


Tom Thumb


A quick growing Bibb type lettuce which is a fast grower to compact tennis ball size up to 5 inches.  Bibb is always a hit at my table since each head makes an individual salad of tender, never bitter rosettes of light green.  It’s an English heirloom from the mid 1800’s that is just being discovered by lots of gardeners today.  Through the summer it is irrigated by my t-tape, one transplant to each drip hole, 12 inches apart.
45 days     

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Packet sows 20 ft row (500 seed)

Lettuce can be seeded indoors a few weeks before setting in the garden but we prefer to sow the seed directly into the garden 2-3 weeks prior to the last frost date.  Thinly scatter the seed 4-6 per inch and barely cover the seed.  When the seeds are 2 inches tall carefully transplant each seedling to stand 6-8 inches apart.  Lettuce likes a fertile soil and ample moisture.

Lettuce does well in a cooler environment.  Summer lettuce is probably best grown in semi shade with ample soil moisture.  Lettuce easily bolts into seed and it is wise to plant succession crops of lettuce so that your are always ready for a salad.  If lettuce is bitter (as it sometimes becomes in summer) plunge into boiling water for a minute and then pan fry the greens in a bit of olive oil.  An August sowing produces a fall crop.

The lettuce bolts allow the seed to form white puffs like dandelion seed does.  When there are a lot of seed puffs pull the plant and allow it to become throughly dry.  The normally resinous seed will easily fall onto the tarp they dry on. and you can easily shake the remaining seed free.