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Lactuca sativa var. crispa ‘Red Sails’    Family: Asteraceae
(lak-TOO-kah  saw-TEE-vah)
Type: loose-leaf

Common name: ‘Red Sails’ lettuce
Zone: 9 – 11
Height: 10-12 in (25-30cm)   Spread: 10-12 in (25-30cm)
Aspect: full sun; partial shade
Soil: fertile; well-draining
Water: regular
Days to Maturity (from direct seeding) : 55 – 65 

Description: An annual, loose-leaf-type lettuce with eye-catching medium-green, crinkly-edged leaves flushed in deep red tints. Red colour deepens as plants mature. Mildly sweet flavour. Matures in 55 – 65 days.

Special Notes: Introduced in 1985. Very popular leaf variety lettuce. Large, open plant tolerates hotter temperatures better, being one of the slowest to bolt of the red leaf varieties. Handle with care during washing as the mid-ribs break easily. Good for container planting.


How to grow: Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before your last frost date. Sow outdoors two to four weeks before your average last frost date. Succession sow a few seeds every three weeks until about four weeks before your first frost date in autumn for a continuous supply of fresh leaves all season long.

Sow seeds ¼ – ½ inch (0.6-1.2 cm) deep and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Lightly cover with soil. Space rows 18 inches (45 cm) apart. Germination is usually in 7-10 days. When seedlings are about 1½ – 2 inches (4-5 cm) tall, thin plants to 10 – 12 inches (25-30 cm) apart.

Water regularly to prevent bitterness. Harvest baby leaves in about 30 days. Remove full-sized leaves from the outside for continuous harvesting or harvest the whole plant. You can also cut the whole plant about 2 inches (5 cm) above the soil when it is 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) across and more leaves will be produced on the stem left in the ground.


All American Selection winner


Updated on August 7, 2015