Merlot Lettuce

Merlot Lettuce

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Striking, deep dark red, almost purple frilly leaves.

A real eye-catcher in the garden and one of the darkest lettuces you can grow. The plant is nothing less than stunning. A very crisp and open headed leaf type that stands upright with a waxy shine that makes an ideal salad lettuce at every stage. Very high in antioxidants and bitter-free. 

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Latuca sativa

Culture

Lettuce is a cool season annual in the Compositae family, which includes endive, escarole, chicory, globe artichoke, sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke, salsify, and burdock. Merlot is a looseleaf lettuce. The leaves can be harvested individually or as a full head.

Soil Nutrients and Requirements

Choose cool, well drained, loose soil with pH 6.2-6.8. Lettuce is sensitive to low pH.  Use an all purpose fertilizer if planting in soil that lacks adequate organic matter. 

Plant Spacing

Full size: 8-12”

Row Spacing

12-18” or 3 rows/36” bed, 5’ centers.

Harvest

Cut lettuce holds best when harvested in the morning and cooled rapidly.  For salad mix or baby leaf production, harvest individual leaves when they reach desired size, or cut evenly across the bed making sure to stay above the growing tip. Butterhead lettuces are quite fragile, so be cautious when harvesting. 

Storage

Store just above freezing temperatures with 98% humidity.

Pest Info

  • Tarnished Plant Bugs cause brown scarring on stems. Romaine is especially susceptible.
  • Cabbage looper and cutworms can be controlled by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). 
  • Leafminers burrow underneath the skin and leave weaving, translucent trails. They are usually controlled by natural enemies.
  • Slugs and Snails can be baited by beer traps. Practice clean cultivation and avoid mulch.

Disease Info

Many lettuce diseases are best prevented by production practices that maximize airflow around heads to stimulate rapid drying. Many varieties have been bred to have disease resistance.  

Disease Resistances

  • Downy Mildew
  • Lettuce Drop

Days to Maturity

Full Size: 55 Days