Edible PlantsVegetables

How To Grow Buttercrunch Lettuce?

buttercrunch lettuce

Buttercrunch lettuce (Lactuca Sativa var. capitata) is one of the butterhead lettuce variations. It has a velvety texture, and a mildly sweet and buttery flavor, without the bitterness of some other salad greens. If your children are having a hard time eating greens, you should maybe start with something less bitter, like buttercrunch lettuce.

Buttercrunch lettuce can be used as a replacement for tortilla wraps, to make the wrap less caloric or to avoid eating gluten. It can also be used in regular salads, like tuna salad. It also is terrific in between a sandwich.

Buttercrunch lettuce is healthy! It contains folate, iron, manganese, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. You can easily grow it in almost any climate, let us tell you how to grow this delicious lettuce!

Basic Care

Buttercrunch lettuce is an annual and grows well in cool temperatures. It will take about 2 months for the lettuce to mature. Buttercrunch lettuce can also be grown in containers indoors, provided they get enough light.

Mature buttercrunch lettuce Source: Dwight

Soil & Fertilizer

Buttercrunch lettuce prefers loose, loamy, well-draining, and nutrient-rich soil. Like most lettuce, it will do badly in clay soils. the pH level of the soil should be slightly acidic or neutral.

To get quicker growth out of buttercrunch lettuce, feed it all-purpose water-soluble fertilizer, diluted accordingly to the package. You can also feed it fish emulsion or blood meal, any fertilizer with nitrogen in it will help the growth of this lettuce.

Water

Do not let the soil dry out, soil should be kept moist, not soggy, at all times. It is difficult to say exactly when you should water buttercrunch lettuce. It depends on the intensity of the sun, humidity, and temperature.

If you do not want to be bothered to check on your lettuce to see how dry the soil is, invest in or build an automatic drip system. General advice is one inch of water per week.

rows of lettuce
Two rows of lettuce, buttercrunch on bottom left. Source: Mark

Climate

The best temperature range to grow buttercrunch lettuce is 45 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 21 degrees Celsius). When temperatures get higher, it will start to bolt. Even if it does not bolt, it can still taste bitter. After bolting, the leaves are still edible, but they lose flavor.

Light

Buttercrunch lettuce is a quick grower, but it needs a lot of light. Plant it in full sun, at least 6 hours of sunlight per day.

Diseases & Pests

Buttercrunch lettuce is very tasty and a lot of pests unfortunately agree. Aphids, whiteflies, slugs, snails, and earwigs all enjoy munching on this tasty green plant. If you do not want to deal with pests, grow the lettuce indoors in containers. You will still need to sterilize the soil beforehand, to ensure there are not any pests.

There are a few diseases that can infect lettuce, white mold, powdery mildew, and lettuce mosaic virus. Keep a close eye on your lettuce. When you see something out of ordinary, it might be a good idea to prune that part of the plant. If the disease keeps turning up, discard the plants in that area.

Planting

Plant buttercrunch lettuce 2 months before temperatures hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) or sow the seeds right after frost. In some places, it is possible to plant after the summer as well. Choose a sunny location and press the seeds in the soil lightly. If you want to grow multiple rows, space them 15 inches apart.

To help with pests and to improve the taste of buttercrunch lettuce, it is possible to plant it with other plants that will improve the taste and deter pests of lettuce. This is called companion planting.

buttercrunch seedlings
Buttercrunch seedlings Source: FarmersGov

Harvesting

There are different ways to harvest this plant. You can continually harvest outside leaves, while inside leaves will keep growing. This way you have to be careful not to remove too many leaves at once, which will cause the buttercrunch lettuce to die.

The second way is to cut off the head of the lettuce when the plant reaches maturity. Either way, wash the leaves and dry them afterward. Assuming you’re not going to eat the entire crop straight away, place them in a plastic bag and the refrigerator. That way, buttercrunch lettuce will last 2 weeks.

Propagating

You can allow some of your plants to bolt, to collect seeds for the next year. You will not be able to enjoy the harvest of those plants, but you are guaranteed to grow this same delicious plant next year.

  • Wait for the buttercrunch to bolt during summer
  • Once the flowers are dry, cut them off
  • Place a container under your hands
  • Rub the flowers together gently
  • Collect the seeds and store them in a dry environment

Final Thoughts

Buttercrunch lettuce is a delicious salad green and when grown properly, is not bitter. Perfect for salads, sandwiches, or wraps. Buttercrunch lettuce grows fast and doesn’t require much effort, so why not grow your own?

You can even grow them indoors, just provide them with a growlight or place them near a window that gets most sun.

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