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Eye-catching Ruby Gem offers plump, heavy rosettes about 6 inches tall. The vigorous seedlings grow rapidly into perfectly formed, well filled out, beautiful little heads with tightly folded, ice green hearts and ruby red tops. Leaves have crisp, juicy texture and marvelous flavor. Slice a pretty head of Ruby Gem in half to plate up a great salad for 2 people – just pour over the dressing! This superb variety was developed for gourmet markets.
Seed Count: Approx. 300 / Weight: 0.35 g
|Cold Winters||Mild Winters||Sun/Shade||Sow Seeds||Days to Germinate||Days to Harvest|
|April-May||Sept.-May||Full Sun Partial Shade||1 in. apart 1/4 in. deep||7 - 14 days||50 - 55 days
In cool spring weather, start seeds in full sun. Sow seeds 1/4 in. deep and 1 in. apart in fertile, well-drained soil. Keep evenly moist but not soggy. As seedlings begin to grow, it's critical to thin out young plants to a final spacing of 10 in. apart so they have room to mature to large, leafy rosettes (extra seedlings will transplant easily to grow elsewhere). Container Growing: Plan on 5 to 7 full heads in a 16 to 18 in. pot or a 9 x 12 in. window box; 3 full heads in an 8 in. pot.
Lettuce thrives in cool conditions. Carefully thin and keep evenly moist for sweet tasting, full heads. For a constant supply, make several sowings a few weeks apart until summer heat comes on. In hot weather, give lettuces some afternoon shade and check water daily. Feed with liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks. Sow more seeds in late summer for delicious fall harvest.
Use these little beauties in containers or as an edible garden accent or border. Or transplant seedlings around edges of a big pot holding a young tomato or pepper plant, then harvest when the bigger plants grow to need the space. Savor young thinnings in your first spring salads. Harvest mature little heads when they are solid and well-filled out. Pull and discard or compost over-mature plants if they begin to elongate ("bolt") in hot weather as leaves turn bitter at this stage.