Growing Mesclun Lettuce Greens

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Growing Mesclun Lettuce Greens in Your Garden

If you are growing a variety of lettuce greens in your garden, then you are growing a form of Mesclun. A packet of Mesclun seeds contains several varieties in one packet. This garden guide on “How to Grow Mesclun Greens” will help you to grow a superb crop of greens. 

Mesclun isn’t a single variety of lettuce. Rather, it’s a combination of several varieties of loose-leaf lettuces, all in one seed packet. The dictionary definition states it can also contain a variety of herbs and even edible flowering plants. Gardeners love this loose-leaf mixture, as it spells “variety” in the salad bowl. Mesclun lovers savor the varying colors, textures, and tastes.

Note: There is no consensus on what greens, and what percentages, are included in Mesclun Lettuce. It varies by the seed company. And, you can certainly mix any variety of greens in your garden, in any proportion that you like. 

To give you an idea of what may be in a Mesclun mix, Livingston Seed Company includes arugula, red Russian, endive, chervil, radicchio, red romaine, bibb, and salad bowl lettuces.

Planting Mesclun Seeds

Mesclun seeds are very fine. When planting in rows, spread the seeds as thinly as possible. You can also broadcast the seeds over an area, instead of planting in a row. No matter how hard you try, the seeds are difficult to disperse with the proper spacing. Cover the seeds with a very fine layer of loose soil or starting mixture.

Tip: Some people sprinkle the seeds on top of a fine soil, and just water them in.

Mesclun lettuce is not meant to transplanted. They will grow just fine in an outdoor container on your patio or deck. When it comes time to harvest, just step outside your door and snip as many leaves as you need.

Germination: At the proper soil temperature mseclun seeds will germinate in as little as 3-4 days.

How to Grow Mesclun Lettuce

Growing Mesclun is easy. The plants grow best in full sun. They prefer cool weather.

Plant Meslcun seeds in rich, well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist, not wet.

Lettuce contained in a Mesclun mix, likes cool weather and lots of moisture, in rich, well-drained soil. The key to growing Mesclun is to provide plenty of moisture and fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer works well, too.

Hard as it may be, thinning seedlings will result in a better crop

Succession planting is a popular practice with all lettuces. Plant successive crops for a constant supply of Mesclun. Plant small sections in your garden every couple of weeks.

Ideal Soil pH – 6.0-7.0

Also, see:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature for all vegetables

Ideal Soil pH – by vegetable


Insects and Pests

Bunnies like all kinds of lettuce. Got bunnies!? Then, a rabbit fence is in your future.

A variety of insects can pose a real problem. Lettuce is delicate and can absorb many insecticides. If you want or need to use insecticides, look for brands that are less harmful to you and the environment. We like to avoid insecticides on leafy vegetables wherever possible. we suggest organic sprays, and a willingness to give up some of the harvest to insects, versus using pesticides. After all, one of the reasons most of us have gardens is to avoid pesticides.

Slugs are a real problem for all types of lettuces. There are a variety of control methods. More on Slugs and snails.

Plant Disease

Mesclun lettuce grows quickly and has a short life span. Disease problems are few, except in wet weather. In hot weather, they can get bitter, and they can rot.

Plant Problems – Diagnosis, causes, and cures for many common plant problems.

Harvest Time for Buttercrunch Lettuce

Days to Maturity: Mesclun is ready to harvest in 40-60 days.

Pick Mesclun as soon as it is big enough to use. We recommend harvesting with a clean, sharp knife or scissors.

Each lettuce in the mix may have a different number of days to harvest. But, once they reach a harvestable size, the plants should produce for weeks.

Also, With the varying days to maturity by variety, an early cutting will likely have a slightly different proportion of each lettuce and a later cutting.

Plant Hardiness

Like other lettuces, Mesclun greens thrive in cooler weather, with moderate moisture. The plants are is not fond of mid-summer heat, or dry conditions. As a result, many gardeners will plant a crop for spring and early summer harvest, leaving the mid-summer months to the tomatoes and the corn. Then, as the late summer heat begins to wane, they plant a new lettuce crop for a fall harvest.

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