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.”
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.
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.
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?