IMG_1479-muir-is-lovely-growing-with-Dwarf-Calendula-2017
Batavian Muir lettuce mixing well with dwarf calendula

I live in an area of the USA that has fluctuating summer temperatures. Who doesn’t these days, right? This summer we have fall-like weather in July, August, and September and in spring it was summer weather.  Go figure? It seems you can’t count on our weather lately to behave predictably. There are other summers, unlike this one where it is humid, hot and unbearable out there in late May or early June and all my lettuce bolts right away. That is what happened last summer, and  I was so disappointed. I had some standby lettuce types that I had grown for years, but they were all bolting. As I was cleaning out my bolting lettuce to make room for some other crops, I noticed a group of some Batavian lettuce types, I was trialing were doing well amongst the other bolting lettuce. I started clearing the bolted lettuce away, and I found this delightful, bright green, lacy, wavy leaf lettuce type. I read the marker, and it was called “Muir.”

IMG_1473-Spring-lettuce-starting-to-bolt-2017-MUIR
Bolting Muir lettuce late summer this year

I was so impressed. I thought it must be bitter like all the rest. I tried it, and it was not bitter!! How could that be??? I always used Jericho, Bronze Arrow, and Merlot late in the summer years past; they were my mainstay and I never really explored other types of lettuce for our growing area. However, the past few seasons it seemed my favorites were bolting in early June.  I was getting frustrated, so that is why I decided that in 2016 I would only grow Batavian types to see which were the best in our summer roller coaster weather. I have read in several places that Batavian lettuce holds up to summer heat better than other types of lettuce.

IMG_1542-Muir-Lettuce-seed-2017-seeds
Muir seed from our 2017 garden. I have several trays to pack up which should be enough to share too!

I only grew Muir this year and decided to save seed from this lettuce type. If it did well and remained non-bitter tasting after it was out in our summer heat, it would be the only lettuce type I would grow from now on in our Urban Potager. I would save seed each year from Muir to establish a lettuce acclimated to my growing climate. Well, this summer we have only seen a few hot, humid weeks and when we did this lettuce did start bolting but at a slower rate and much later in the season. I was able to eat the bolting leaves which were unique to my experience with bolting lettuce. I have had lettuce all summer! That is the first for our urban potager for lettuce to be available right up to the start of August. I even started some mid-May for late summer sowing. I have fresh lettuce right now from Muir, and it is wonderful to finally find a salad lettuce that can handle our unusual, unpredictable all over the spectrum weather!

I purchased my Muir lettuce seed from Johnny Seeds. They claim that Muir did the best in their trials, stood the longest int heir garden trials.  I have been relying on Johnny seeds for some of the varieties that I grow in Palm Rae Potager.  They have a lot of new trials going on at their research center. I would check out Johnny Seed Research and Trials to see if there are any vegetables, herbs or flowers you would like to trial in your own garden. I am not an affiliate with Johnny seeds, so I don’t get a kickback from their company-LOL. I have not made my blog an affiliate blog, so my comments are my honest feelings.

IMG_1472-Muir-lettuce-where-are-the-dwarfs.jpg

I have to admit while I was taking these pictures, I kept thinking where are the dwarfs working in the garden. These looked like small Christmas trees. I have had lettuce start bolting in my garden but never did it look as beautiful as Muir lettuce. They look like little trees in a magical forest, where are the Wee folk????LOL

 

I let my mini Christmas trees ( a.k.a. Muir lettuce) go to seed, and it did look a bit messy for a few weeks, but I have enough seed for a few years. I don’t know if I would have a garden party during the month that I am letting some of my plants go to seed, but why not? We really do need to educate people on how we get our food. Don’ t you think?

Written by Robbie

M.S. Education, , Organic Gardener, soil + nature lover, former modern dancer

23 comments

  1. I love the shape of your muir lettuce. Like you, our weather is so unpredictable now, I think growing a few different varieties is the only way of at least getting one successful crop.

  2. Isn’t that the prettiest bolt you’ve ever seen Robbie 🙂 I haven’t heard of that variety and must investigate to see if it is available down here – I’m getting geared up to start planting out a few pots of lettuce and herbs……. ❤

  3. I LOVE those Muir lettuces! I think although we are on opposite sides of the world, we tend to have the same weather patterns. Summer is humid here as well and I don’t bother growing zucchini any more as they turn to mush most seasons from some or other fungal thing that predates them and goes nuts. I am going to have to seriously hunt for some of those Batavian lettuce. I am not even sure that we can get them here in Australia but whenever I say that, I am usually proven wrong :). Little Christmas trees popping up all over your garden. A perfect home for gnomes. It might be time to craft a few and pop them under the little Christmas trees for your grand son to find Robbie. I am sure he would love them. 🙂

    1. I agree!!!! I do have a few wee folk. I need to hide them next year when I have them start to bolt. I should read him a story about the wee folk before and head out to the garden to find them hiding-PERFECT idea-you think like a little kid-love it:-) There are other types of Batavian lettuce that I have no doubt are very good. I bet you could grow them in your fridges:-) They did well in containers here too:-)

      1. You should start collecting “wee things” or better still, making them, so that next spring you can set up a whole wee world out there underneath the flowers and vegetables. I watched a truly lovely video not so long back about a series of gnome houses that started to appear in the woods in the U.S. I don’t know if you saw it. I will see if I can find it for you and share it here. It is SO worth watching when you have a few spare moments… I found it! It is called “The gnomist” and is an incredibly lovely, and uplifting story. Let me know if you watch it 🙂

      2. WOW!!!! I loved this story!!!!!! Thank you for sharing. What an incredible thing to do….really creative, inspiring, thoughtful and great idea:-) What a good mother to get her kids involved when they were hurting to help make others smile. The “little Owl” door and that poor family losing a small children…well, I cried…thank you Fran-just wonderful!

      3. I cried as well. I just wanted to share that truly inspirational story. We get SO much negative news and this kind of wonderful story just doesn’t get a look in. We need more little owl doors and less hate 🙂

      4. I had to share it with you because it was such a lovely story about creating community through the lost art of wonder and connection through loss and love. Its just a truly lovely story and you don’t see a lot of stories like that. 🙂

  4. Your lettuce trees look wonderful. They inspired me to go and pick some of the green leaves which have regrown from kale and cauliflower plants which were left to overwinter in the garden. They have lovely fresh green leaves on them; just right for a stirfry.

  5. Hi Robbie… enjoyed reading your post on Batavian lettuce… this lettuce sounds new to me… love your pictures as they are so well captured… the green colors, and the neatness of your garden… nice!

    1. Lrong!!! so glad you stopped by:-) I enjoyed growing your Egyptian spinach but I need to protect it better next year the bunny kept wanting to eat the tops off all summer-UGH!
      I was busy today ordering my spring bulbs and hopefully, it will be last time since many were dug up when we renovated the house. Happy Gardening!!!

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