I’ve been growing lettuce for decades and I’ve tried more varieties of this vegetable than I can even remember. I’ve grown all kinds of lettuce: butterhead, summer crisp, leaf, romaine, and head. They’ve all been fine and have grown well, but none of the varieties was so amazing that I remembered its name.
That is until I grew Multigreen lettuce.
I don’t even know why I decided to purchase this lettuce from Jung’s Seeds, but I’m glad I did. Multigreen is a type of lettuce similar to the Salanova® varieties sold from Johnny’s Seeds and the Tanimura & Antle artisan lettuce that you find in four-packs at the grocery store. Here’s how the Jung website describes it: Harvest uniform leaves every time. Not a leaf lettuce, not a head lettuce, but a unique type that develops uniform, finely serrated leaves of shiny dark green with crisp texture and mild, sweet flavor. One snap at the base of the plant yields identical leaves that have an excellent shelf life.
In the garden, Multigreen looks a lot like frisee endive. I’ve been harvesting them while they’re still young but if you let them mature, the plants will be much more rounded. But the truly surprising part is how uniform the leaves are and how easily they can be removed from the core. You can pull a number of leaves off the side of a harvested plant or cut out the core and have a large pile of perfect lettuce. I also like how the leaves are dark green at the tip and then become more blanched until they’re almost white at the core. In addition, they’re very easy to clean.
This kind of lettuce isn’t readily available for the home gardener. It appears to be marketed more to commercial growers for use in salad mixes. Given the ease of harvest and the yield from each plant, I can understand why it would be appealing to growers.
But having found Multigreen, I want to try some of the other similar kinds of lettuce. Johnny’s offers Salanova® Foundation varieties in green and red (similar to Multigreen) as well as Salanova® Premier, a lettuce like Multigreen but with more rounded leaves in green and red.
I’ll keep trying different lettuces but for now, Multigreen and Salanova® are two varieties whose names I’ll remember. Multigreen has certainly earned a spot in the garden rotation and I think Salanova® will as well.