There are so many varieties of lettuce to choose from these days, but it’s always worth going back to the good, old-fashioned iceberg. These crisp, refreshing lettuces are great in salad mixes but many don’t do well in hot climates. For a heat-tolerant iceberg lettuce, Sun Devil is a great choice.
About Sun Devil Lettuce Plants
Sun Devil is a type of iceberg lettuce. Also known as crisphead varieties, iceberg lettuces form tight heads of leaves that have high water content and are crispy with a mild flavor. Iceberg lettuces are also desirable because you can pick the whole head, and it will last unwashed in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks. You can remove leaves to wash and use as needed. The heads of Sun Devil lettuce will grow to between six and 12 inches (15 to 30.5 cm.) high and wide, and they produce easily and well. Sun Devil is also unique in that it is an iceberg variety that actually thrives in hot, desert climates. This is a good option for areas like southern California, Texas, and Arizona. Enjoy your Sun Devil lettuce leaves in salads and sandwiches but also in some surprising ways. You can use the large leaves like tortillas to make tacos and wraps. You can even sear, braise, or grill quarters or halves of the lettuce head for a unique vegetable side dish.
Growing Sun Devil Lettuce
When planting Sun Devil lettuce, start from seed. You can either start seeds indoors and then transplant them outside, or you can sow the seeds directly in the ground. The choice may depend on your climate and the time of year. In the spring, start indoors before the last frost. In late summer or early fall, you sow seeds outside. Sun Devil lettuce care includes giving your seedlings and transplants a spot with full sun and soil that drains well. Use raised beds if necessary, and amend the soil with compost to make it richer. Make sure the heads have room to grow by spacing transplants or thinning seedlings until they are 9 to 12 inches (23 to 30.5 cm.) apart. Sun Devil takes about 60 days to get to maturity, so harvest your lettuce by removing the entire head when it’s ready.
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Mary Ellen Ellis has been gardening for over 20 years. With degrees in Chemistry and Biology, Mary Ellen's specialties are flowers, native plants, and herbs.
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