Fresh, homegrown lettuce is a favorite of novice and expert gardeners alike. Tender, succulent lettuce is a delectable garden treat in the fall, winter, and spring garden. Thriving in cooler temperatures, these highly adaptable plants grow well in raised beds, in containers, and when planted directly into the ground. With a multitude of colors and types from which to choose, it is easy to see why lettuce seeds are such a popular addition to the garden for those wishing to grow their own greens. One open-pollinated variety of lettuce, ‘Jack Ice,’ is able to adapt to even some of the most difficult growing conditions.
What is Jack Ice Lettuce?
Jack Ice is a variety of lettuce that was first introduced by experienced seed grower, Frank Morton. Chosen for its ability to withstand cool temperatures, frost, and for its tolerance to heat, this crisphead lettuce offers growers bountiful harvests of tender green leaves in about 45 to 60 days from planting.
Growing Jack Ice Lettuce
Growing Jack Ice crisphead lettuce is very similar to growing other varieties of garden lettuce. First, gardeners will need to determine the best time in which to plant. Planting Jack Ice lettuce seeds should be done early or late in the growing season when the weather is still cool, as this is when many leafy greens thrive.
Spring plantings of lettuce most often take place about a month before the last predicted frost date. While plants will not survive when temperatures are too cold, weather that is too hot may cause the plants to become bitter and bolt (start to make seed).
While lettuce plants can be started indoors, one of the most common practices is to direct sow the plants. Growers can get a jump-start on the growing season by sowing in cold frames, as well as in containers. Those unable to start lettuce seeds early in the season may also benefit from the use of the winter sowing method, as lettuce seeds are highly receptive to this technique.
Lettuce can be harvested when plants reach the desired size or at peak maturity. While many people enjoy harvesting small quantities of younger, smaller leaves, the entire lettuce head can also be harvested when allowed to completely mature.