Blog by the Garden Center Team
This month's seed kit features Summer Bibb lettuce! To support our environment, seed kits are now available digitally. Scan the QR codes on the seed kits to download planting logs, delicious recipes, fun craft ideas, and coloring pages.
Summer Bibb Lettuce
Summer Bibb lettuce is a delicious, crisp, and easy-to-grow lettuce that can be grown in warmer temperatures because it is slower to bolt. This heirloom variety has crisp green leaves that make great salads and wraps.
Culture: Choose a location with part shade to protect them from heat. Sow seeds in rich well-drained soil about 1/8 inch deep and 6-8 inches apart. Lettuce seeds need light to germinate. Reseed every few weeks for continuous harvest.
Water: Provide consistent moisture but do not let the soil get soggy.
Harvest: Bibb lettuce grows in loose heads of light green leaves that reach maturity in 43 days. Cut off at ground level to harvest the entire head, or for continual supply, harvest outer leaves about 2 inches above the ground, leaving at least half of the leaves.
Culinary tips: Harvest when young and crisp for the best flavor. Summer Bibb Lettuce is usually prepared fresh but this variety can stand up to a light stir fry.
More About Summer Bibb Lettuce
Bibb lettuce is a variety of butter lettuce named after its original cultivator, Lt. John B. Bibb. Lt. Bibb developed his lettuce by adapting Boston lettuce to the limestone-rich soil of Kentucky in 1865. Bibb lettuce is also sometimes known as limestone lettuce or Boston Bibb lettuce. Bibb lettuce began to be grown commercially within the United States in the early 1900s. It’s smaller and greener than Boston lettuce, producing a plant with a loose head of rounded, tender leaves. Butter lettuces, such as Boston lettuce and Bibb lettuce, are named for the soft texture of their leaves, rather than for their flavor. However, that does not mean Bibb lettuce does not taste great. In fact, Bibb lettuce is known for having a mild, but sweet flavor.
Summer Bibb is a variety of Bibb lettuce that was developed by Cornell University in 1976. This variety of lettuce is resistant to heat and may be grown in warmer climates and during the summer. It is also known for its vibrant green coloring and excellent flavor!
Recipe: Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Serves: 6 Prep time: 10 min Cook Time: 20 min
- 1 lb. ground chicken
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ onion minced
- 1 cup of red or green pepper diced
- 1 8oz can water chestnuts drained and minced
- 4 butter or romaine lettuce leaves washed and separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: grated carrots, sesame seeds, green onion chopped, cilantro chopped, chopped peanuts.
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 2 tsp sweet chili sauce
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. ginger powder
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside. Add a little water if the peanut butter is too thick.
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, crumble the chicken as it cooks.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers and water chestnuts and until peppers are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the pan and mix with chicken and vegetables. Simmer for a few minutes and serve.
- Serve in lettuce leaves. Add optional toppings.
Craft: Seed Tape
- Newspaper, cut into 2-inch strips
- Bowl and spoon
- 1 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. of water
- Paper clips
- Label the end of your strip with the seed type and plant depth instructions.
- Mix flour and water together in your bowl. You want to get a consistency similar to regular glue. Add more flour or water as needed.
- Using a ruler and marker, measure how far apart your seeds should be planted (check your seed packet for information) and mark out the intervals on the newspaper.
- Put some glue onto each mark you just made with a brush. The glue should be thin enough to see the marks you made.
- Add a seed to each mark. Let it dry completely (~24 hours).
- When dry, roll up the strips (with plant information facing out) and clip them with a paper clip. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to plant. Unroll and plant!