|Cold Winters||Mild Winters||Sun/Shade||Sow Seeds||Days to Germinate||Days to Harvest|
|April-Sept.||Feb.-Sept.||Full Sun||1 in. apart 1/4 in. deep||7 - 14 days||50 - 55 days|
In cool early spring weather, sow seeds in finely worked soil in full sun. Sow seeds about 1 in. apart over the entire seedbed or in wide rows, then cover lightly and evenly 1/4 in. of fine soil. Firm soil gently and water with a fine spray. Keep seedbed evenly moist. Plant again as weather cools in late summer for fall salads.
Thin seedlings to stand bout 6 in. apart so they have room to grow and mature. Heirloom Red Deer Tongue grows and tastes best in mild spring or cooler fall weather with consistent moisture. To extend the growing season slightly, sow in light shade or erect a canopy of loosely woven shade cloth over the bed. Birds are often attracted to tender young seedlings, so protect them with netting if necessary.
To harvest, wait until the plants form open, loose heads with leaves about 6 in. tall. Use scissors to to cut leaves about 1 to 2 in. above the soil level. Water well and fertilize lightly and if weather is still cool, plants will regrow tasty leaves for another cutting. These tasty, deep red leaves show off in the salad bowl and add interest to any sandwich. Hot summer temperatures turn this heirloom lettuce bitter; plant and harvest in cooler weather.
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