- Sun: Full sun
- Harvest Size: 8 to 12 inch leaves
- Days to Harvest: 45
- Plant Size: 1 foot tall and wide
Red Sails is known for its open head of loose ruffled leaves, whose tips turn bronze-red. Red Sails matures quickly, tolerates heat, and is slow to bolt, making it a great choice for warmer climates.
Red Sails lettuce likes sun but can also grow in light shade, although the red color is better in the sun. It's perfect for patio containers where you can grow a salad bowl. In cold climates try pots indoors on a sunny windowsill or under grow lights indoors when the weather outdoors is too cold. The pretty leaves even work well in borders or as edging.
Plant Spacing: 12 to 18 inches apart. Plants Per Person: 6 to 8 if you eat salads every day
Secrets to Success »
Begin planting Red Sails in early spring about a month before the date of the last frost. Lettuce loves fertile, compost-enriched soil. Protect from hard freezes with a blanket or row cover. You can protect from intense heat later by planting where there is afternoon shade. Water consistently for the most tender sweet leaves. Remove from the garden when the plant gets tall and leaves taste bitter.
Harvest and Use »
You can harvest Red Sails lettuce a few ways: pick outer leaves as soon as they’re large enough, cut leaves to about an inch above the soil (and the plant will provide a more harvests), or harvest the whole plant when ready, which makes sense only if it is bolting or about to freeze. Use fresh from the garden in salads and on sandwiches. Darker lettuces such as Red Sails carry more nutrients than lighter colored varieties.
Try these garden companions »
- More cool-season crops such as cabbage and onion.
- Herbs, including dill, mint, parsley, and chives.
- Tomatoes, cucumbers, and other favorite salad crops.